By E. Brown
There are 4 primary leadership styles, many of which you can find within most businesses or organizations around the world. These styles are: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, and Participative. Each of the leadership styles have impact on reforming and/or creating company culture. There are short and long-term affects of each style. For instance, the authoritative style may produce great results in a short amount of time. However, excessive use of authority will decrease productivity in the long-term. People either get fed up and leave or fall into a malaise of hum-drum repetitive tasks without creativity and innovation. All the while, a participative style will be unproductive in the short-term. But, the longer this style of leading, the more productive a company can become. Many leaders never make it to a point of high productivity. They give up before the participative style kicks in and the company starts to escalate. They see the initial drop in production and cannot wait long enough for the true results. Do not give up.
Though many leaders and managers get discouraged seeing a drop in productivity when transitioning to a participative approach — productivity will come over time. People will see they have opportunities to create and innovate and their production becomes greater than before. Three Keys
There are three keys that determine your leadership style.
1. How you view and use authority
2. How you view and use human resources
3. How you view and relate to people
The more you keep control the more authoritative your style the more you share control, the more participative your style of leadership.
Questions for Reflection
Ask yourself these questions to see if you (or those around you) are moving toward a more authoritative or a more participative leadership style.
- Are employees involved in the planning process?
- What percentage of total employees know the vision and goals for the company? - Do employees feel ownership?
- Do employees feel trusted?
- Is information readily exchanged between departments?
- Is information received from others truly accurate?
- Is problem solving delegated?
- Is there regular duplication of effort?
- Is there an inordinate amount of time spent correcting mistakes? - Are relationships between leaders and subordinates good most all the time? - Are departmental relations good most all the time?
- How rare is conflict?
- What is the company attitude toward authority?
- Are conflicts ignored?
- Do people fear failure?
- How do employees feel toward the organization?
How small-unit leadership impact morale
Because morale is an expression of how well your unit has incorporated organizational norms and values morale is critical part of your leadership. First, you should seek clarity in understanding your organizations norms and values. You should understand how your organizations mission, goals or objectives support the norms and values. After it is clear to you, express it to your unit. Use your roll call time to incorporate a discussion on norms and values. To lead a small unit you must be a story-teller. When you train or debrief during roll call emphasize how actions reflected your organizations norms and values. Be specific. Every action can be interpreted through your organizations norms and values. Let your people know specifically how their actions reflect positively or negatively on the overall norms and values. The next time your offer praise consider that you are not praising the action so much as praising how much the action reflects the norms and values. In law enforcement, your unit is performing much of its critical work without the benefit of your on scene leadership. The only way you can influence them at critical...