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Being a leader is a lot more than just managing people. A good leader knows the importance of inspiring others, as well as helping them succeed. The growth of your team reflects back on you and the success of your company, so it’s in your best interest to help raise them up. 

People who remember old bosses fondly often have the same feedback. They are good listeners, they validate employees, and they make sure to reward positivity. They also know that dialog is a two-way street, and are open to suggestions for improvement. When it comes to conveying their expectations about specific job descriptions or responsibilities, or even the company’s vision as a whole, they remain consistently transparent so there are no surprises or ambushes regarding employee performance. That being said, there are different leadership styles that all aim for the same goal of extracting the best from their teams, but not all are equally effective.

The autocratic style is a single point of view that takes no input from others. While rarely being used these days, it does become effective at times of crucial decision-making, when a leader is the most qualified person in the room, or if the team is relatively new and unable to think quickly enough. One step below this is the authoritative style. This still maintains the methodology that the leader knows more than the other people in the room, but he is inviting them to follow along as they learn and give them choices and explanations for decisions. The pacesetting style of leadership is great for those who have the same stamina and endurance as their leader. It can become increasingly stressful, however, for those who start to feel left behind the pack.

A democratic style of leadership takes all opinions into account. Team members can feel a sense of pride at being part of the problem-solving and company growth. While this is by no means the speediest form of leadership, it is the one with very high employee morale and low turnover rates. Leaders who follow the coaching style go beyond asking for input. They take an invested interest in employees’ talents and goals and they help explore them. Affiliative leaders also get up close and personal with the interconnectedness of all team members and do very well with conflict resolution.