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Leadership Styles

While there are many who believe that leadership is an innate, charismatic quality that cannot be taught, specialists in the business field, among others, have developed six models of leadership styles. These leadership styles are: authoritarian, paternalistic, democratic, laissez-faire, transactional, and transformational. Leadership StylesA person can employ one or more of these styles in order to motivate and provide direction.

The authoritarian leadership style is characterized by strict control with direct supervision. Frequently, authoritarian leadership styles can be equated to bullying and the creation of a climate of fear. Paternalistic leadership styles demonstrate parent-like concern for subordinates. On the downside, such leaders have a tendency to develop favorites.

Democratic leaders look to the group to share decision-making responsibility. Employees are encouraged to participate the process and this leadership style has been shown to be highly effective. Under the laissez-faire leadership style, all decisions are left to the group. This is hands-off approach that can be effective when followers are highly skilled and motivated.

Those following the transactional leadership style implement rewards and punishments for motivation. This style is said to be vital in developing team innovation. Finally, transformational leadership styles attempt to change and inspire motivation through charismatic leadership.

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