There's more than one way to be a great leader. In the business world, there are dozens of management styles, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most effective leaders are able to match their management styles to individual situations and personnel.
A master of business administration, like Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's online MBA with a Specialization in Management, teaches numerous leadership styles. Students enrolled in the AACSB-accredited program learn how different management styles can impact employees, work culture and the broader organization. To be an effective leader in tomorrow's business environment, MBA graduates must understand the pros and cons of numerous management styles.
5 Common Leadership Styles
Visionary: Visionary leaders lay out long-term goals while enabling and equipping workers to achieve those goals according to a preset timeline. Along the way, these firm-but-fair managers give feedback and praise effective workers. Generally speaking, this leadership style can be one of the harder management styles to effectively implement. Businesses that have a self-motivated workforce can thrive under this leadership style, though.
Democratic: As the name implies, democratic-minded leaders encourage input and feedback from employees. This leadership style often engenders trust and respect among cohorts because workers feel that their views and input are valued. Democratic leaders maintain the final say on important matters but take workplace consensus seriously. This leadership style has the potential to lead to delays and inefficiency, though. If a crisis arises, for example, there may not be time to poll workers for the most popular solution.
Authoritative: Authoritative managers are rarely popular, but the management style can be very effective in certain situations. If the workplace environment is chaotic, a more dictatorial chain of command can restore order quickly. While authoritative leaders can often achieve results quickly and efficiently, in the long term, this management style can lead to resentment among workers.
Laissez-Faire: One could argue that the laissez-faire approach to management represents more of a lack of leadership than a specific type of leadership. Laissez-faire leaders are laid-back and take a hands-off approach to decisions. Only in the event of an emergency do these managers begin giving directions. If a workplace is full of highly motivated and busy workers, this approach can be effective for short periods of time. But, there's probably a good reason that few Fortune 500 CEOs would describe themselves as laissez-faire leaders.
Coaching: Adherents to this leadership style love teaching and motivating workers. The day might start with a pep talk and end with an evaluation of how the day went. Coaches see value in motivating individuals while building a strong sense of teamwork in the workplace. Leaders who rely on this style must be careful to not overemphasize competition among workers. Doing so could inadvertently lead to a toxic work culture.
Which Management Style Is Right For You?
Effective leaders understand a wide range of management styles and know when to use or not use certain approaches. When determining whether a visionary or coaching leadership style is called for, multiple factors must be considered. Some of the more important variables can include:
- The personalities of your employees
- The amount of work that must be completed by a certain time
- The natural leadership qualities that you possess
- The urgency of the task at hand
Once these factors have been considered, the most useful management style will become clear.
The Many Tools Managers Need to Succeed
SIUE's online MBA with a Specialization in Management program equips students to apply different leadership styles to different situations through courses on decision-making, strategic management, interpersonal skills, leadership and more. Earn your degree in as few as 12 months.
Learn more about SIUE's online Master of Business Administration with a Management Specialization program.
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