What type of leader are you?

14 January 2014

January is the time of year for resolutions. But aside from aiming for better health and learning a new language, isn’t it time to take this opportunity to review your leadership style and find out whether you are the leader you want to be?

Each business has it’s own drivers when it comes to leadership. A franchise operation with an outlet in the Dubai Mall requires a different method of leadership to that of a start-up business on Boulevard Plaza.

Here are 5 of the main leadership styles. For some businesses, one leadership style will stand out as being the most effective. However, for many it’s about identifying the right mix of styles to become the leader your business needs you to be.


These types of leaders do not share decision-making. It is their job to give instruction and make decisions for the group without feedback or consultation.

Where needed: Where you are working to tight deadlines, need to make quick decisions, or when you are working with people who lack initiative, or are new to the business.

People Orientated

Understanding individuals is key to the people orientated leader. They need to be able to give support and provide structure within which team members will work collaboratively towards a common goal. Ultimately, decisions are made by the leader, but those decisions may occasionally be informed by team feedback.

Where needed: This is a good style for start-ups, where team members are highly motivated, intelligent people, but require strong direction to work as a cohesive, creative collective.


This leadership style relies on one person having the charisma and enthusiasm to inspire people to be the best they can be. They aren’t always the decision makers, often delegating to departmental heads, but their challenge is to help people make the right decisions and create new ways of thinking for the business.

Where needed: In businesses that require the communication of a shared vision: to help keep everyone sufficiently motivated to pull in the same direction: a direction that is often different from the previous one the company was doing in.


laissez faire
Do you take a back seat when it comes to leadership?

This type of leadership is very much about letting people get on with what they are doing with very little interference. A leader of this type is one who knows their teams will work effectively on their own initiative. Monitoring is kept to a minimum and decisions are taken without a leader’s involvement.

Where needed: When you have highly experienced teams that you can trust implicitly to work in the business’ best interests at all times. Often used in international businesses where satellite offices need their own autonomy.


A democratic leader works with teams who are highly motived, creative thinkers. The leader will often listen to the team and take on board their ideas within the decision-making process.

Where needed: With teams that have a record of making good decisions for the company. However, this only works when the leader is able to make a sound judgement on which are the ideas to go forward with.

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