Leadership denotes different phenomena to people worldwide. Moreover, its meaning depends on the social situation, including community, religious and political leadership types. Consequently, a leader has to apply a leadership style appropriate to a workplace. Basing on the type of control a manager uses, five styles of leadership, namely autocratic, bureaucratic, diplomatic, participative, and free rein, are distinguished. Therefore, each of them requires thorough examination.
Autocratic leadership, in other words, authoritarian, is based on the absolute control of a person over all decisions without taking into consideration someone else’s ideas. An autocratic leader makes choices referring to own point of view exceptionally. The fundamental characteristics of the style include no or little notice of group members’ contribution and the lack of trust with significant tasks to the inferior. Additionally, an authoritarian leader tends to determine all working processes and methods. Undoubtedly, the autocratic style brings about benefits, contributing to the efficient and fast solution of problems. However, in such a case, a leader meets resentment and is seen as a dictatorial and controlling individual (Cherry, 2016).
As an impersonal style, bureaucratic leadership is famous for being the oldest form dating back to such renowned rulers as Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar. It focuses on strict regulations written in job descriptions that explain relations within the hierarchy. It means that a bureaucratic leader, who is mostly well-organized, is obliged to adhere to fixed rules and defined instructions. Consequently, bureaucratic leadership aims to formalize strict hierarchy where immutable laws and regulations control an organization. Employees are grouped in accordance to their performed duties and specialties. The objective of the bureaucratic style is to ensure consistent output of high quality (Spahr, 2015).
Since diplomacy denotes professionalism and competency in dealing with international relationships, diplomatic leadership is used in negotiating agreements and contracts, representing particular policies and interests, speaking in public and resolving conflicts effectively. Additionally, authority and power are redistributed between managers and employees in such a way that workers are involved in the decision-making process. Consequently, a diplomatic leader requires being a resilient manager, good advisor, and a trusted negotiator to complete set goals (Duggan, n.d.).
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The participative or democratic style is considered the most efficacious leadership approach. Although a democratic leader gives group members an opportunity to take part in the discussion of difficulties and offer their solutions, he/she usually guides the process and takes the final decision. According to the studies by Cherry (2016), members of a participative group are more productive and propose bright ideas. Moreover, being involved in a process, they are more creative, determined, and motivated. Since they feel appreciation and respect, group members contribute to achieving goals faster (Cherry, 2016).
Free-rein leadership, also known as a laissez-fair style, focuses on complete freedom given to employees by a manager. Furthermore, a leader delegates responsibilities to workers and does not intervene in the decision-making process. Using such a style, a manager attempts to stay in contact with group members, giving them an opportunity to develop self-control and an independent personality. Despite job satisfaction and personal growth, free rein leadership does not have an actual leader who guides subordinates (Chand, n.d.).
After meticulous examination of five styles of leadership, I would like to advocate the participative one, in other words, democratic leadership. Despite being the most effective leader, a diplomatic manager provides employees with an opportunity to make own decisions. Unlike free-rein leadership, this form involves both communication and guidance of the leader.
To conclude, the use of a leadership style depends on the situation, according to which one may distinguish five types, including autocratic, bureaucratic, diplomatic, participative, and free rein. Each of them has its peculiarities and concentrates on either performance of tasks or job satisfaction. Nevertheless, all leadership styles guarantee reaching set goals.