Each leader has a different leadership style, and there are advantages and disadvantages to all. A business should strive to find the best leadership style that fits the company’s goals and cultures because there is not a one-size-fits-all style.


An autocratic leadership style is one that is focused on the boss. A leader with this method holds all responsibility and authority. These leaders make decisions, communicate them to others and expect implementation. Autocratic work environments typically have little or no flexibility. Autocratic leadership can be necessary for quick decisions or teams with a new vision; however some find this style demoralizing.


A democratic leader makes the final decision but includes employees during the decision making. These leaders hold the ultimate responsibility but encourage creativity and participation of others. This style is most effective when the leader wants the team to have shared ownership of a decision, plan, or goal. When a business needs to make changes within the organization, the democratic leadership style helps employees accept changes easily because they play a role in the decision-making process.


This leadership style maintains and continues the status quo. A transactional leader will clarify what is expected, explain to meet those expectations, and allocate rewards once the expectations are met. These leaders may also have to give punishments if performance is not met. This leadership style is best for companies who are always in need to meet performance measures.


This leadership style is all about initiating change and motivating others to do more. Transformative leaders set challenging expectations and usually see higher performance because they have committed and satisfied employees. Transformative styles require high levels of involvement from the leader and are great for organizations for who aspire to do more.


A coaching leadership style is best for organizations that are in need of improvement. This technique builds strength, provide guidance and motivates employees. A coaching leader is highly involved with teaching and supervising.


This leadership style is the most relaxed because it offers employees a lot of freedom. A laissez-faire leader gives authority to employees and interferes minimally. Research has found that this style is not useful, but can be successful for seasoned employees who have high productivity levels.

There are many leadership styles and many more than these six. There is no best leadership style because each organization needs something different. The best leaders can take parts of all leadership styles to fit many needs of the company.


6 Leadership Styles and When to Use Them from Ryan Krutzig on Vimeo.

Ryan Krutzig is a seasoned sales and operations professional based in Minnesota. Read more of his leadership advice or check out his Twitter!