Home' Border Enterprise : July 2014 Contents JULY 2014 ENTERPRISE DIRECT 5
ED LEAD THE WAY
Take me to your leader
A LEADER in any field is acknowledged as a
person who provides direction, implements
plans and motivates people.
However, this may not necessarily be 'the big
boss' or even managers. Leaders are found
throughout any group or organisation at
various levels and will exhibit different styles
of leadership - each of which can be effective in
In 1938, a group of researchers led by
psychologist Kurt Lewin set out to identify
different styles of leadership. While further
research has identified more specific types of
leadership, this early study was very influential
and established three major leadership styles -
autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire.
An autocratic leader keeps strict, close control
by adhering to policies, regulations and
procedures. These types of leaders ensure they
create a distinct professional relationship and
believe direct supervision of group members
is required in order for anything to get done
The democratic leader shares the decision-
making responsibilities with the group
through discussion, debate, sharing ideas and
encouragement of people to feel good about
The laissez-faire leadership style is where all the
rights and power to make decisions is fully given
to group members. It is sometimes described
as a 'hands off' leadership style because tasks
are delegated with little or no direction. It
provides a high degree of autonomy and self-
rule to workers, while at the same time offering
guidance and support when requested.
A 2000 Harvard Business Review study by
Daniel Goleman and his team discovered that
a manager's leadership style was responsible
for 30 per cent of the company's bottom-line
Goleman's study incorporated new research by
the consulting firm Hay/McBer which drew on
a random sample of 3,871 executives selected
from a database of more than 20,000 executives
worldwide which identified six leadership
styles - Commanding, Visionary, Affiliative,
Democratic, Pacesetting and Coaching.
Importantly, the research indicated that leaders
with the best results do not rely on only one
leadership style. They use most of them in
a given week, seamlessly and in different
measure, depending on the business situation.
Goleman said to imagine the styles as the array
of clubs in a golf pro's bag.
"Over the course of a game, the pro picks and
chooses clubs based on the demands of the
shot. Sometimes he has to ponder his selection
but usually it is automatic. The pro senses the
challenge ahead, swiftly pulls out the right tool
and elegantly puts it to work.
"That's how high-impact leaders operate too."
1. Commanding (Coercive): Demands immediate compliance:
"Do what I tell you."
2. Visionary (Authoritative): Mobilises people toward a vision:
"Come with me."
3. Affiliative: Creates harmony and builds emotional bonds:
"People come first."
4. Democratic: Forges consensus through participation:
"What do you think?"
5. Pacesetting: Sets high standards for performance:
"Do as I do, now."
6. Coaching: Develops people for the future:
1 Commanding (Coercive): Demands immediate c
Six leadership styles at a glance
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