Picking A Leadership Style
Despite the fact that some of us must obviously be followers if society is to function at its peak, we are trained from childhood to see leadership as the most favorable position in any team and to strive for that post. This is a situation that is often misunderstood. Some of us will be consistently heavy handed while others will fail because of an inability to be assertive at the right times. Being a good leader means knowing which situations are best for which actions and even stepping aside when necessary. Here in this essay, the major styles are discussed in terms of their relative usefulness.
When to be Autocratic
Autocratic leaders say what needs to be done and expect their followers to just do it. They will see a situation, rely on their own analysis of the facts that have been gathered and issue commands. This may sound unfair, particularly to people who have been raised around democratic institutions. Still, there are times when any other system will lead to disaster for all parties involved. The pilot of a plane that is plummeting toward the earth should not stop to ask the co-pilot, air stewardesses and passengers what maneuvers he should employ. He or she should simply use the knowledge he or she has acquired to save the day while issuing instructions to the rest of the crew that can help minimize the damages suffered.
When to be Democratic
This style is very much favored. People who are referred to in this way tend to see it as a complement. It means that they hold the reigns in the situation but often solicit advice from the other people involved before making decisions. This works best when those involved know a great deal about the task and the leader can make a better informed choice with their help than without it.
When to be Laissez-Faire
If autocratic leaders are thought of as to strict, Laissez Faire ones tend to come off as too lax. They are likely to tell a team the project they are working on in vague terms then leave them to their own devices. This works best when members know things that the leader does not and his or her intervention could stop their creativity.
There are people who can only lead in one way and others who are adaptable to every situation. If you are intent on being a good leader each of these three styles should become familiar.