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Leaders are needed and found in all organizations, irrespective of their size. There exist different kinds of leaders. There are born leaders and other trained leaders who acquire or learn leadership skills. There is no denying that quality leaders are required to motivate their employees and guide them to meet the organizations desired goals. It’s also important to choose leaders with care as they are the public face of the organization.

A desirable leader possesses charisma, good decision making skills and good people management skills. In today’s competitive work environment, companies with better leadership survive and thrive. Other much needed leadership traits include adaptability, self discipline and innovative thinking. Also, high personal productivity and adherence to ethics are valuable and indispensable leadership qualities of today.

The different types of leaders include:

Autocratic Leader

No one can question the autocratic leader’s decision. This kind of leadership results in a very high degree of efficiency.  Employee’s inputs are not solicited. The benefits include quick decision making and swift implementation of work. The leader makes it clear what needs to be done, the deadline and the process to be used.

Bureaucratic Leader

The leader adheres to written rules and processes. The disadvantage of this approach is the stifling of flexibility and innovation in the organization.

Charismatic Leader

The leader has a magnetic and dynamic personality. He/she infuses enthusiasm and energy in the team. However, the leader should not get carried away assuming qualities of self righteousness. There is a risk that the organization might flounder when this type of leader exits the firm.

Democratic/ Participative Leader

Inputs are taken from everybody in the organization irrespective of position or rank. The leader is the one that makes the final decision. Care must be taken that decision making does not take much time.

Laissez Faire Leader

This leader gives a high degree of autonomy for his team. This strategy is preferred when the team members are self motivated and experienced. Undesirable for employees who are relatively new and require guidance.

People Oriented/ Relations Oriented Leader

This leader focuses on enhancing employee morale and self development. Teamwork and collaboration is a priority. Good strategy for motivating and retaining talent.

Servant Leader

This leader lets the team be credited for success. A high degree of integrity and setting of personal examples are the indispensable leadership qualities which are stressed on.

Task-oriented Leader

The focus is on meeting targets and deadlines. The leader creates a system of planning, organizing and monitoring of work. The drawback is neglecting employee motivation and retention.

Transactional Leader

This leader motivates the team by using a system of reward and punishment. Good performance is rewarded by monetary incentives and/or praise and acknowledgement.

Transformational Leader

The leader makes sure routine work is executed completely. The focus is on using novel and unconventional ideas and thinking among the team.

Depending upon the organization’s requirement, you may assume one of the above leadership styles. The styles may overlap and change depending on the work environment. Remember, leadership is learnt best “hands on” rather than through theory.

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