Businesses grow from the inside, when teams are motivated to produce results that surpass previous benchmarks. However, this motivation does not stem solely from individual employees, but their response to leadership. Cultivating varying leadership styles that align with the needs of different employees can prove to be the best way to motivate and inspire them, without actively having to preach.
Common leadership styles and when they work
A charismatic leader is one that woos team members with conversation other than ones to do with work. This approach often makes employees feel valued for who they are, rather than feeling like a cog in the machine. Most organisations today value this approach the most as it helps improve employee engagement, motivation levels, and attrition rates significantly.
Democratic leaders rank second to charismatic ones as they help employees strike and maintain the elusive work-life balance. Such leaders understand that life often interrupts work, and they are willing to provide their employees with a certain amount of leeway in return for dedication and good work. This approach can sometimes back-fire, with employees mistaking such leaders for pushovers, which is why democratic leaders must juggle being authoritarian ones periodically.
Although many young professionals believe that an authoritarian approach is the key to motivating employees, the fact of the matter is that this only works in certain instances. When relying on this approach constantly, you stand to alienate your team, create a hostile work environment and contribute to high attrition. Only use this leadership style in times of a crisis, when commanding employees to unquestioningly follow your lead is the only way forward.
A laid-back approach only works in teams that are self-motivated and do not require additional prodding to complete tasks. More often than not, such work environments are born when one has experienced team members who are passionate about what they do. Using this leadership style for a young team can prove to be disastrous as inexperienced resources often require guidance to perform well. Conversely, this style can help motivate team members if you use it to instill a sense of trust in the employee’s ability to deliver work.
Being a strong leader
Your leadership style has absolutely nothing to do with your personality. Though you may think of yourself as an amiable individual, you may find that what your team needs the most is an authoritarian approach that feels contradictive to your very being. This is where most young professionals stumble. It is important to realise that being a strong leader means assessing what your team needs, and then responding accordingly, rather than sticking to one leadership style in all situations.
Above all, strong leadership comes from a place of respecting employees, rather than treating them as dispensable. Offering transparency as well as open communication fosters an environment of mutual respect, letting employees not only feel more committed to their work, but also boosting their motivation to grow and perform better.