types of organizational leadership styles

5 Organizational Leadership Styles You Can Master

Having enthusiasm for leadership is a great start, but truly great leaders will both walk the walk and talk the talk. There is a leadership style for every manager’s personality—you can learn the approach that works best for you by studying organizational leadership styles in a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program.

Matching with a leadership style can help you unlock employee productivity, meet goals, and impress the C-suite, not to mention have a positive impact on your organization’s workplace culture. Whether you decide to lead with an iron fist, or you take a laissez-faire approach, first try on these organizational leadership styles for size.

1. Participative or Democratic Leadership

The title of this leadership style easily gives it away. Democratic leaders see their employees as key contributors in terms of decision-making. This type of leadership makes contributors feel important and connected to the business goals. Participatory leaders often sacrifice in speed and quantity what they gain in creativity and quality when it comes to employee work results. A democratic style asks for confidence and strong handling from its leader, should they need to tighten up on the reigns when approaching a deadline or measurable moment, because results still ultimately fall under the leader’s purview. The course Sustainability of Innovation and Strategic Advantage is an ideal tool for leaders who want to invite participation while continuing to steer the department.

2. Transformational Leadership

Want to have a team that cares as much about your business goals as you do? Try transformational leadership! This organizational leadership style asks for employees to be engaged and invested in the strategic process. Employee buy-in also means that workers will feel in part responsible for the results. Inspired employees often care more about their success rate at work on a personal level, and they see their colleagues as collaborative team members, rather than adversaries. Transformational leaders use charisma to unify their group, and they encourage critical thinking across all levels of employees. This leadership style is future-thinking and sees change as an exciting and achievable, as well as necessary, challenge. The Goodwin University MSOL course, Leading Organizational Change, is exactly what a transformational leader-in-training needs to learn how to balance this dynamic business process.

3. Transactional Leadership

As the name suggests, transactional leadership is governed by a rewards system. When employees meet goals, they receive compensation or another high-value type of reward. On the other hand, when employees fail, they are reprimanded. This type of leadership is often used in athletics, as well as in big business. This leadership system has a rigid structure and emphasizes short-term gains. Transactional leadership is not well-suited for creative atmospheres, because it plays by all the rules. It does not invite experimentation. A transactional leader is not likely to offer employees the opportunity for bonding with management, because the status quo is closely upheld. Employees may also not develop personal motivating factors for completing work, not just because of the rigid rewards system in a transactional leadership situation, but because there is little transparency of long-term goals. Lessons about practicality can be learned from transactional leadership techniques, and a course such as Data-Driven Decision-Making for Executives can help you coax a stronger performance from employees.

4. Delegative or Laissez-Faire Leadership

More experienced teams may benefit from a delegative leader because this style relies on employees who are equipped to perform independently and at a high level. In exchange for self-direction, delegative leaders must trust their staff for this style to be successful. Less senior staff might be at a disservice when managed by a delegative leader because they may require more hands-on training and feedback. However, creativity and independent problem-solving skills can blossom when workers become freed from a more micro-managerial approach. Power struggle disputes are more common in a delegative leadership situation because it can be hard for employees to understand “who’s boss.” A course in Negotiating & Conflict Response is a perfect primer for leaders to learn how to navigate trickier business situations.

5. Authoritative or Autocratic Leadership

Do you want to give employees every opportunity to grow? The mentor-based authoritative leadership style could be for you. These leaders work directly in a one-on-one fashion with employees to ensure that each person on the team achieves a state of personal fulfillment (along with meeting their business goals). Authoritative leaders tend to spend more time learning about each team member’s unique assets than other leadership types, which makes them adept at team-building and filling any weak spots amongst the cumulative team skills. They also provide clear expectations of employees and are less likely to invite input during decision-making. A Talent and Performance Management course is the perfect background for authoritative leaders. You’ll learn about measuring employee success, and how to help employees grow their career paths at your business, thus retaining talent.

Finding Your Organizational Leadership Style

Who says you have to adopt all of the theories within a single leadership style? Business minds like yours can get a professional boost into leadership with the curriculum included in Goodwin University’s Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MSOL). With experience and education, you can mix and match techniques until you find the perfect blend for your business goals and personality. As the Federal Office of Personnel Management explains, feedback is critical to improving performance, and it should be provided in a specific, timely, and sensitive manner. Remember to solicit feedback from employees and colleagues so that you can continuously improve your leadership style.

To learn more about how Goodwin University can help you advance your career in leadership, contact us today at 800-889-3282 or visit us online to learn more!