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HCM 4007 W3 Assignment Leadership Styles

HCM 4007 W3 Assignment Leadership Styles


At first glance, we may think that some leadership styles are better than others. The truth is that each leadership style has its place in a leader’s toolkit. The wise leader knows to flex from one style to another as the situation demands.

Leadership styles are on a continuum, ranging from autocratic at one end, to laissez-faire at the other, with a variety of styles in between. There are seven primary leadership styles.

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1. Autocratic

The phrase most illustrative of an autocratic leadership style is “Do as I say.” Generally, an autocratic leader believes that he or she is the smartest person at the table and knows more than others. They make all the decisions with little input from team members.

This command-and-control approach is typical of leadership styles of the past, but it doesn’t hold much water with today’s talent.

That’s not to say that the style may not be appropriate in certain situations. For example, you can dip into an autocratic leadership style when crucial decisions need to be made on the spot, and you have the most knowledge about the situation, or when you’re dealing with inexperienced and new team members and there’s no time to wait for team members to gain familiarity with their role.

2. Authoritative

The phrase most indicative of this style of leadership (also known as “visionary”) is “Follow me.” The authoritative leadership style is the mark of confident leaders who map the way and set expectations, while engaging and energizing followers along the way.

In a climate of uncertainty, these leaders lift the fog for people. They help them see where the company is going and what’s going to happen when they get there.

Unlike autocratic leaders, authoritative leaders take the time to explain their thinking: They don’t just issue orders. Most of all, they allow people choice and latitude on how to achieve common goals.

3. Pacesetting 

“Keep up!” is the phrase most indicative of leaders who utilize the pacesetting style. This style describes a very driven leader who sets the pace as in racing. Pacesetters set the bar high and push their team members to run hard and fast to the finish line.

While the pacesetter style of leadership is effective in getting things done and driving for results, it’s an approach that can turn off team members. Even the most driven employees may become stressed working under this kind of pressure in the long run, suggesting that a more agile approach may be the ultimate leadership style required for leading today’s talent.

Should you avoid the pacesetting style altogether? Not so fast. If you’re an energetic entrepreneur working with a like-minded team on developing and announcing a new product or service, this style may serve you well. However, this is not a style that can be kept up for the long term. A pacesetting leader needs to let the air out of the tires once in a while to avoid causing team burnout.

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