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Everyone has their own opinion on what a good leader is. The style of a leader can greatly impact how well others perform under their direction. By being aware of the different ways to lead, one can evolve as an individual, creating a stronger team. Here are a few of the most common leadership styles.


The democratic leader is a fan favorite and is usually respected across the board. This leadership style is so effective as it draws opinions and ideas from those of all levels before making any final decisions. The democratic leader encourages participation and is open to change when necessary.


Leaders who prefer the style of coaching are heavily invested in getting to know the strengths, weaknesses, and hidden potential of each participant. This hands-on approach assigns tasks that are agreeable to each player as an individual. Coaches are supportive in nature and are skilled at identifying areas that require improvement, offering helpful feedback, and pairing members with others who can inspire growth and development.


Transactional leaders reward others for a job well done. They believe that offering incentives for hard work and participation will encourage engagement and high results. While the transactional leadership style usually urges others to reach great lengths, if not managed properly, team members may only perform at their best when they know that there is something to be gained.


The laissez-faire leadership style is ideal for the highly motivated but can be a train wreck waiting to happen for underachievers and those who require direct guidance. This hands-off approach is one that allows each member to govern themselves. Laissez-faire leaders communicate expectations and trust others to work independently while meeting their goals.


The bureaucratic leader enforces company policies and procedures to the fullest degree. They often have the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” outlook, which makes them less responsive to change. They can be rigid in their beliefs and unwilling to take the opinions and ideas of others into consideration.

Each leadership style can generate a different outcome based on the environment and participants. While there are some styles that generally work better than others, each leader should select a style that agrees with their own personality and circumstances.