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To some extent, everyone’s leadership style is unique, but there are some general leadership styles it’s important to know. Every leadership style has its advantages and disadvantages and some companies are better suited to one style than another. If you’re in any position of leadership, it’s important to identify your style of leadership and work to improve it or begin imitating another style you feel would work better for your organization.

Participative

This type of leadership style places value on the input from team members and coworkers, but this leader ultimately makes the decision on what to do. They work closely with their team to find a solution and come up with ideas, but they still hold a significant amount of power when it comes to making the final decision. This leadership style is particularly beneficial in a collaborative office and with employees who want to know their input is valued. Being this type of leader can lead to strong teams and quality relationships with employees. However, participative leaders can make the mistake of giving employees too much leeway, leading to decisions taking too long to make and the leader not being able to take action on their own when it’s required.

Transactional

Transactional leaders are very focused on results and evaluate their employees almost entirely on performance. The leader and employees set clear goals and ways to work toward those goals. Based on whether or not the employees meet these goals determines what they get, such as a pay raise, a bonus, or some other benefit. This leadership style can be useful at a company that places a lot of value on numbers and getting results, but there’s sometimes the risk of not viewing employees as people with their individual ways of achieving success.

Laissez-faire

A laissez-faire leadership style means that the leader provides little oversight to their employees and often leaves them to their own devices. There are certainly plenty of employees who enjoy this type of leadership style, but not everyone thrives under it. If you have experienced employees who manage their time well and excel when they’re left on their own to work, a laissez-faire leader is right for them. However, if employees need more direction and move off task without guidance from a leader, this leadership style can have serious consequences. It’s important to accurately evaluate whether or not your employees can handle a laissez-faire leadership style before implementing it.

Transformational

The transformational leader is focused on the big picture of a company. They want to work toward an overarching end goal that requires a lot of dedication and hard work to accomplish. These types of leaders are hands-on because they need to be if their goals are to be reached; they’re aiming for something beyond typical business goals. Transformational leaders provide plenty of direction to their employees and help push them to achieve something that probably did not seem initially possible.