Over the last year, the business landscape has changed dramatically. Companies have to be more agile and dynamic to accommodate restrictions in movement and new safety measures. Remote working and the use of video calls has become second nature to a large majority of employees. This raises the conundrum on how leaders can drive teams and performance while the workforce dynamics change.
Democratic style can be effective in bringing all team members into the decision making process, however it can lead to less responsive decision making times and can lead to disagreements between team members. With teams working from home and remote working becoming more common, democratic leadership can keep teams working together but also risks delaying productivity if scheduling of meetings is not done to a compact schedule.
Autocratic leadership is the opposite of democratic and can work when leaders have the experience and confidence to drive teams through difficult times. Autocratic leadership can be effective with developing teams and less effective with experienced or creative projects. This form of leadership can be effective in remote working and helping less experienced employees through difficult times.
Coaching style and pacesetting style approaches need experience to be successful. The integrity of these styles relies on proven results which will naturally lead people to try and replicate the mechanisms of success. A leader using coaching may give an employee advice on how to approach tasks in various ways that may not be currently used to open up new possibilities. They may even provide access to the learning and development of new skills to help achieve their objectives. Coaching is becoming more common to help employees develop the skills and approaches to working in a more dynamic environment.
Laissez-Faire style gives team members the freedom to do what they think is right without much direction or supervision. This approach is common in start up companies where creativity can be important to the success and growth of the company. It is uncommon to see this style in a regulated environment.
The key to good leadership is knowing your employees and knowing what drives them and what demotivates them. The use of emotional intelligence is key to understanding this. The development of leadership agility is essential as a “one size fits all” approach will result in less chance of success. A mixture of leadership styles is essential to ensure different projects and environments are evaluated and leadership styles adapted to accommodate for success.