Leadership: What’s Your Style?

There are several styles of leadership that exist in the corporate sphere. There are
advantages and disadvantages to all leadership styles, and some people are more drawn to one style over the others. Often times the culture of an organization determines which style of leadership is best suited for the environment.

The following are five of the most common leadership styles found in today’s workplace. See if you can determine your leadership style, and decide whether or not that style functions best in your organization:


This hands-off approach shuns direct employee supervision. Laissez-faire leaders often do not provide regular feedback to employees, nor do they closely supervise their day-to-day work. This leadership style works best in an environment where the team is highly-skilled, experienced, and well-trained. It does not work well for employees who require extensive supervision, or who are not self-starters.


Autocratic leaders make decisions without the input of others. They exercise complete authority over their reports, and typically no one challenges that authority. Autocratic leaders function well in environments where employees require close supervision, or in environments where mistakes simply cannot be made. This leadership style will quickly alienate teams who are highly creative, or who are highly experienced.


Democratic leaders, sometimes called participative leaders seek the input of their team members, but ultimately make the final decision.  This type of leadership helps team members feel as though their input is valuable and that their opinions matter to their managers. It also helps teams accept change, as they had a hand in making the decision. This style of leadership works best for groups that don’t have to make fast, high-pressure decisions.


This style of leadership offers punishment or reward based upon performance. Managers and employees set predetermined goals. The employee agrees to meet those goals, and the manager agrees to help provide the direction to get them to that goal. Transactional leadership works well when goals are clearly defined, but it only motivates employees at a base level and their deeper needs are often not met.


Transformational leaders are highly visible and communicate early and often with their employees. They seek to motivate their teams through hands-on involvement. Transformational leaders focus on the big-picture goal, while delegating each individual task to team members in order to see the goal through to completion.  This type of leadership can lead to highly motivated teams, but it is also incredibly time-consuming. Transformational leadership often does not take the motivations of the team into account, and many individuals won’t be inspired to work simply for the success of their manager.

Just as important as leadership style is the work style of your employees. Matching employees to an environment is critical to the success of an organization. If your company is looking for highly skilled IT professionals that will mesh with your company culture, contactVector Technical Resources today. We are a top-tier  IT recruiting firm in Northern Virginiawith a unique process for matching employers with local and national tech talent.  We look forward to working with you on your next project.