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List types of leaderships with their personality traits? What impact do each of these have on workforce?

Expert Answer

There are 5 types of leaderships

  • Autocratic Leadership
  • Democratic Leadership or Participative leadership
  • Laissez-Faire Leadership or Free-rein Leadership
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Transactional Leadership


Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic Leaders are aggressive, controlling, not open to feedback and generally not very well-liked. They exercise authority to get work done and expect prompt execution of their orders. They push employees hard to perform better. Such a leadership works in places where work force is not as competent or where jobs are repetitive or monotonous and employees are not required to make critical decisions or show creativity.   Work force under such leadership is not loyal or very motivated. High attrition and low work satisfaction can be expected in such a work place.

Democratic Leadership or Participative leadership

Democratic leadership fosters creativity in workplace as all decisions are taken in collaboration with the team. While inputs are encouraged from everybody, the decision-making power rests with the leader. This type of leadership boosts morale of workforce and allows leaders to capitalize on the strengths of the workforce. Since the decision-making is done after reviewing and sometimes incorporating feedback from the team, the decisions are sometimes delayed. This type of leadership will work well in companies which are into research and innovation. It generally leads to employee empowerment which results in a stronger and more committed workforce. 

Laissez-Faire Leadership or Free-rein Leadership

Under this leadership, subordinates are given complete freedom to execute the tasks assigned to them in whatever way they deem fit as long as goals are achieved, and ground rules are followed. The leader only helps the workforce with information and resources and leaves the decision-making to the employees. There is absolutely no interference from the leader and employees don’t seek guidance and motivation from the leader. Although decisions are taken by employees, the leader still takes responsibility for the outcomes. This leadership works well when the workforce is highly motivated and has expertise in their field.  A workforce which is not self-driven or lacks skills may demonstrate low productivity under this type of leadership.

Transformational Leadership

A transformational leader leads by making positive changes in the followers by using Individualized Consideration, Intellectual Stimulation, Inspirational Motivation and Idealized Influence.

  • Idealized Influence: Transformational Leader serves as a role model for the followers. He practices what he preaches by embodying the core values and principles that he wants to see in his followers. When followers see their leader walking the talk, their confidence in the leader increases and makes them want to be more like the leader.
  • Inspirational Motivation: Leader gets the followers to look ahead with optimism and enthusiasm by creating a vision that is well-aligned with the professional goals of the followers. This makes the followers more committed towards their goals.
  • Intellectual Stimulation: Leader encourages participation in decision-making and problem-solving. He inculcates the spirit to innovate and think out-of-the-box so that employees continue to outperform themselves.
  • Individualized consideration: Leader accurately recognizes what drives each follower and then adds value to that follower by providing the follower with opportunities, training and rewards based on these findings. Followers receive customized growth paths under transformation leaders.

Transactional Leadership

This type of leadership is guided by ‘Carrot and stick’ approach. This kind of leadership involves achieving organizational objectives by appealing to the self-interest of followers using positive or negative reinforcement. Employees are motivated into performing well by either promising rewards or by threats of punishment. This technique works well in the short-term but employees may lose motivation in the long run.