Numerous styles of have been shared over the course of time. In my research, I have decided to share two very specific theories which describe behaviors that demonstrate how effective or ineffective a leader can be.
In the 1930’s, Dr. Levin, a psychologist, led a group of researchers in a study which established 3 types of leadership – Authoritarian, Delegative, and Participative.
- Authoritarian, also known as autocratic, was a style where the leader tells you how to think and act. It’s the leader’s way or the highway. A tremendous amount of distinction between the boss and the underlings and never the twain shall meet.
- Delegative, also known as laissez-faire, was a style where the leader offers little or no guidance and leaves the decisions up to the group.
- Participative, also know as democratic, was a style where the leader offers support and guidance. This leader actively seeks input and actually listens and responds to suggestions. In this type of leadership, the leader actually actively engages and participates within their team.
In the 1990’s to the present, Dr. Paul Taffinder, an world renowned expert in leadership has been researching and publishing about seven styles of leadership. In 2006, Dr. Taffinder published these interesting styles of leadership in the book entitled, The Leadership Crash Course.
- The Transformational Leader is a style that transforms commitment and levels of performance, highly goal directed and willing to go against traditional approaches.
- The Enforcer is a style that are cautiously optimistic while driving towards very specific, defined objectives.
- The Deal Maker is a style that attracts followers because of the energy, enthusiasm and interest in the new and exciting.
- The Administrator is a style clear in what needs to be achieved and ruthlessly follow through.
- The Visionary is a style that inspires people to dream of greatness but fail to follow through.
- The Serial Entrepreneur is a style that is imaginative, but calculating, gamblers, displaying huge energy and commitment and sweeping people along with them because they make seemingly impossible challenges achievable
- The Spin Doctor is a style that seems to be everything a leader should be, but their behavior is inconsistent and self-serving.
These are two different approaches to defining styles of leadership. Both experts researched and identified traits and abilities that demonstrate varying degrees of effectiveness as a leader. At any given time, people will demonstrate any and all of these leadership styles. The question now becomes, how can we aspire to become like the traditional style from Dr. Levin’s research, participative leader? And the next question, which in my mind now becomes imperative in this time of indecision, ineffective decisions, entrenched styles of leadership become truly transformational as Dr. Taffinder recommends?
I’m interested in your thoughts.