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Tuesday 20 August, 2019

In the increasingly complex workplace and within the uncertain world that we live in, effective leadership has never been more important.But with an array of situations and complexities arising constantly, it’s more important than ever to know which style of leadership is best suited to each challenge.

Each individual leader will have their own personal style of management and leadership, based on their experiences and personality. But with a knowledge of different leadership styles, a good leader can become much more effective. Here are the most commonly used leadership styles.


Authoritarian leadership involves one person making decisions. This is done without any input from other workers and is purely dictatorial. A manager makes the decision and has the final say, while those beneath them are expected to simply complete the task or accept changes with no questions. In today’s complex and more utilitarian workplace, while it might get things completed in the short term, authoritarian leadership can potentially be destructive and ineffective in the long run.


Laissez-Faire leadership is the antithesis of authoritarian leadership. This is essentially a hands-off approach to leading colleagues, which translates from French to English literally as ‘let do’. This leadership style involves little or even no input from the management, and each individual is allowed to make their own decisions concerning their work, and perhaps even the outcomes. While promoting individual freedom and responsibility, laissez-faire leadership styles can lead to a lack of coordination in the workplace.


Democratic leadership is a mixture of both authoritarian and laissez-faire leadership styles and in most cases, proves to be a much more effective way to lead in the workplace. While one individual makes the ultimate decision, that decision is arrived at using democratic means, by asking for input from others within the organisation or from those who are working on the project at hand. 


Transformational leadership is a style that sees a manager constantly pushing their employees and staff to achieve ever-greater goals or to overcome ever-greater challenges. Employees are constantly motivated to overcome obstacles using innovation and creativity, leading to a productive and innovative workplace.


Collaborative leadership is an innovative form of management that aims to change the traditional working environment completely by removing hierarchies of power. Rather than having an autocratic leader or one sole decision-maker, collaborative leadership brings all members of a team together in the decision-making process. Although guided by a ‘leader’, everyone involved contributes and takes responsibility. 


Visionary leadership is a style that involves a leader focusing on the bigger picture, and having ambitious goals for progress and growth. Visionary leaders are able to drive change quickly. At the same time as promoting their end goal, they have the ability to promote the step-by-step stages needed to actually reach that end goal. For small teams or companies, a visionary leadership style can be an excellent way to achieve fast growth, given a dedicated team that also believes in the vision being worked towards.

The Civil Service College offers a range of management and leadership courses designed to promote effective leadership styles within the workplace. Contact us to book your leadership course today.


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