Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Franz Beckenbauer, Adolf Hitler, Pope Franziskus, Mark Zuckerberg… All of the above names are or were leaders. All of them are known for completely different ways to lead. Are all of them good leaders? Have they been leaders at all? Every one of us has a different idea of what leadership means. And always keep in mind, Leaders are sometimes Firefighters…
What is Leadership? A simple definition:
Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act Towards achieving a common goal.
But what does leadership mean to you?
There are many different points of how leadership could be defined and even more points how to measure good or bad leadership. One easy example, can you answer this question?:
Who is the better leader?
Leader A: Company is almost bankrupt, he is not really interested In the actual sales but loves his products and wants to Continuously improve them and their manufacturing. But all his Workers go home happy after work and are motivated to come back to work on the next day.
Leader B: company is financially solid, no problems ahead but his workers Are stressed out, constantly to much work, no good words from the boss and Lots of pressure has lead into an environment that doesn’t Motivate you to wake up in the morning.
The 3 Main groups of Leadership Styles:
Sure a mixture of both of them sounds great but what is right and what is wrong. I prefer to divide leaders into 3 main groups.
- Autocratic – a leader makes his decisions without listening or referring to others. This is perfect during quick decision making periods but might be more risky for long term planning. Because this style can lead into dissatisfaction of Team members working below this kind of leader.
- Transactional – all Leaders or team members have agreed on a goal and work together on achieving it. But the leader still is the only one that can reward people. As a result this leads to more motivated employees since everyone feels committed, but it also reduces freedom and creativity of single employees in lower positions.
- Transformational – The leader (or the leadership team) is mainly working on motivating the team members with high level communication and lots of freedom to move. This way of understanding leadership can dramatically boost morale and satisfaction but may lead into more controlling work for the leaders themselves. Leaders working in this way make their teammates responsible which additionally puts some pressure especially on young or fresh teammates.