There are 7 kinds of leadership styles and we went into the details of each one in my last post.
The next question is what kind of leadership style should I adopt in which scenario?
Even though there is no set rules for any company to follow a certain leadership style, here is how from a big picture stand point can you identify when you can change your leadership style.
Well, am sure you have questions by now and wanting to debate or discuss as to why I proposed the way I am proposing. There are various other ways you can categorise, but this is a basic though on how to start identifying where you as an Entrepreneur or Leader is wanting to take your company.
Leadership styles can change when you are a one person company, with 10 employees, 100 or 1000 or 10000 or even 100000. Companies evolve over a period of time and what are you trying to achieve.
For instance, you can start a Pharma research company where you focus on finding better medications. When you start, you have a small team and you want to bring out the best in each one, that’s when you adopt to Democratic style and over the period of time, combine with Transformational and Coaching as the company grows.
You can be a one hotel establishment and you can adopt to an Autocratic style, but as time goes and you expand your operations, you will need to adopt to Laissez-Faire, Transactional and Servant styles. Why? Because it is important to go hands off when you have put the right people in the right place and also you will need to focus on enhancing your business and your service levels. e
You can be a technology company and you might be a handful of people when you start. But as a founder, you will need to be as thorough as possible to build the best product. You start with a combination of Democratic and Transformational styles. It is very important because you already have the right set of people in the right places. You will need to give the confidence to your team that you know what you want and also be open to listen to them because they come with a certain set of skills. Over the period of time, you will have to adopt to Transformation style because as the company is growing, it requires you to start thinking ahead on how to build and enhance your product offering. It’s a continuous cycle.
Typically, service companies focus on providing end user service. When a person starts this kind of company, they already have in mind what kind of service levels you need to achieve. You start with a Democratic style and mature into transactional style to ensure you reward the people who are achieving their goals and providing you with the results. However, as the company grows, they should also consider adopting Transformational leadership style.
Product Companies / Manufacturing
Can be soft (Technology) or hard products (Water bottle to a car). These companies are designing, developing and bringing out products which can add vale to the user. To begin with founders of Product companies can follow Autocratic style, but set the milestones to migrate to Democratic or Servant styles based on the future of the organisation. As the company grows, the founders should identify appropriate teams to adopt to Transformational and Coaching styles.
Manufacturing is a very clear set. Companies manufacture a product and focus on increasing sales. At a ground level, it will be Autocratic and Transactional style because tasks are clearly set and employees are rewarded for achieving them.
As the sales increase and production increases, at the mid and higher levels, organisations can adopt to Transformational, Democratic or coaching style.
NGO’s focus on providing services to uplift the quality of life (in which ever way). They work with funds and also need to manager people to help execute ideas, come out with innovative projects to create the impact and measure the outcomes.
NGO’s need to adopt Transformational style leadership and over a period of time focus on inculcating Coaching style for the maximum impact.
Let us be honest, NGO’s (quite a few) work with limited budgets and do not have excess funds to hire the best. Hence, they compromise (not on quality, but on skills or domain understanding). For this, transactional model does not work and hence Coaching style needs to be adopted. It becomes the key to a successful outcome.
I am not talking about politics here, but any Government (especially in Democratic Countries) focus’s on providing governance to people – taking care of amenities for living – Roads, Lighting, Water, Schools etc.
In any country, governance starts at the lowest body which handles a population of 1000 – 5000 (depending on the population density). In India, for instance, the ground level governance happens at the Panchayat level. At this level, citizens elect the leader of the Panchayat board. Since the number of people he or she would represent is in hundreds or maximum few thoughts, the understanding of ground level problems is important and also should be able to bridge the communication from the Government to the citizens also should be managed. This should be a combination of Autocratic and Democratic leadership styles.
At the next level, it should be transformational and Democratic.
At the state level, it should be a combination of Transformational and Servant stles. Why? Because the local and District levels are already adopting Democratic, Transformational and Autocratic (bringing the State or Country level policies to the ground level).
At the country level, it should definitely be Transformational, Coaching and Democratic style.
These are just my thoughts based on the outcomes I see for any organisation. There is no set formulae to follow. It totally depends on what the outcomes the organisation is looking for and what is the impact they wish to create.