In any office or workplace, there are a variety of people and just as many leadership styles. It's important for a good manager to recognize that there are many people in their office who have the ability to lead. Too often, when a manager needs to delegate or select someone to lead a new project, they will select the same person over and over, or chose someone who has been with the company the longest. This isn't always the best way to go about it.
Encouraging leadership at all levels is a great way to build a team that is motivated and highly skilled. It's important to recognize the different leaders you have on your team and identify the different leadership styles. From there, depending on your need, you can select different leaders to handle different projects, while still feeling confident that they can deliver results.
Here are 6 different styles of leadership and when to use them:
Leading by example - This is a person who sets the pace for the team. They are a great role model and are self-motivated. They lead by example and are traditionally the most common person to be selected for a leadership role. Their style works best when the team is already motivated and has the skills to complete the project. However, this leadership style can stifle innovation and overwhelm team members who are less skilled.
Authoritative leader - This is someone who can get the team going. They focus on the end goal and leave the details up to each team member. They have a strong presence and their style works best when the team needs a new goal or a new vision. It also works well when a high degree of guidance isn't required. The authoritative leader inspires the team, however when the leader isn't as knowledgeable or skilled as the team, this type of leadership fails.
Empathetic leader - This person is someone who knows everyone on the team and is typically well liked. They focus on people and their style creates emotional bonds between team members and fosters a feeling of belonging. This style works best when the team is under stress or needs to rebuild trust. This type of leadership isn't one that should be used for long periods of time because an empathetic leader can often give too much praise and end up with a team that lacks direction.
Coaching leader - This is a leader who is always looking to develop talent for the future. They are skilled and excellent teachers. This leadership style works best when trying to build a strong team, when everyone needs to learn a new skill. However, when the team is unwilling to change, this isn't an effective leadership style.
Demanding leader - This is someone who can make people do what they say. This style is most effective during times of trouble. When there is an emergency or something has to be done right away. The problem is that it shouldn't be used often because it can alienate team members and build negativity.
Democratic leader - This is someone who likes to brainstorm and get input from everyone. When you want the team to buy into a project or fresh ideas, this is the leadership style you need. However, in an emergency situation or when you need something completed quickly, this isn't the best style.
By understanding the different leadership styles, you can more appropriately select leaders for your next team project.