Leadership Types - Examples of Leaders
Imagine a company without leaders. Where everyone is an employee of the same rank and nobody is supervising, nobody is planning ahead, making decisions or delegating tasks. There would be chaos. Leading means taking charge and creating a productive work environment. Every organization needs leaders in order to be organized and successful. In the following paragraphs the most common types of leaders will be presented along with examples and tackling perhaps which is the most effective one.
The first group of types is based on whether they involve subordinates in decision-making or not. In this group there are three types of leaders: autocratic, democratic, and liberal. The autocratic leader does not involve their subordinates in the decision-making process whatsoever. They simply give out tasks to employees who have to do it as they are told, without any leeway. This type of leader cooperates well with employees who are not creative, who like to be told what to do and how to do it, and who don’t like to work that much. Examples to this type of leader are dictators of the old communism. The democratic leader takes their subordinates’ ideas into consideration and loves to hear feedback. They are transparent when it comes to talking about the organization’s progress and issues. A democratic leader is open and trusted, and promotes interpersonal relationships within the working group. Examples to the democratic leader type are former presidents such as Eisenhower, Carter, or Washington, who accompanied themselves with experienced staff and advisors, or CEOs of famous companies such as Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Google, Apple, and so on. Democratic leaders are a pleasure to work with. And the last type of leader in this group is the liberal leader, who allows subordinates to work in their own pace and style and create their own objectives. They rarely have a say in the way their employees do their job, because they have great confidence in their subordinates. This type of leader cooperates well with independent and creative people, and those who are truly engaged with the company.
Another group of types of leadership is transformational versus transactional leadership. They are opposites. I will write about transformational leadership later on. The transactional leader is one who likes order, rules and regulations, and likes to work based on pre-determined guidelines. They don’t fancy change and innovation. Transactional leaders do reward high performance and punish low performance. They are kind of like the autocratic leaders.
One more type of leadership is the servant leader. Anyone can be a servant leader, from company managers to literally anyone in the personal life as well. Servanthood lays in the attributes of someone who is compassionate, has empathy, has the desire to help others excel in what they do, has an interest in others' welfare, and is not afraid to take responsibility for the whole team, but also to give credit to anyone who deserves it. For them everyone else comes first, and they like to help others excel. Typical servant leaders were Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, and so on.
The last type of leadership to mention is what I think is the most effective one: the transformational leadership. Transformational leaders encourage innovation and creativity, they boost morale by being open, trustful and transparent, having an open-door policy, putting others first and helping subordinates progress in their career. Transformational leaders are charismatic and they make their employees want to be productive and reach company goals in a timely and creative fashion, they become engaged with the company due to the kind heart of their leader. There are four attributes of transformational leadership style, which are: idealized influence – making subordinates want to perform better; individualized consideration – taking care of everyone in the group, helping them progress and excel, inspirational motivation and the intellectual stimulation – these last two also contribute to the desire to be innovative and high-performing. Examples of transformational leaders are Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates, and Helen Keller, among many others.