Traditionally the following leadership styles have been the most popular:
Dictator Leadership – In this leadership style the leader has absolute power and authority over their subordinates. The subordinates receive orders from the leader and they carry them out as instucted. The leader does not allow subordinates to participate in decision making. This is the leadership style that the leader uses fear and threats in order to get the job done. Similar with the autocratic style of leadership the leader also makes all the decisions.
Autocratic Leadership – It has been shown that this leadership style are likely to become dictators. Also under the autocratic leadership style all decision making powers are centralised to the leader. They do not entertain any thought from subordinates and do not listen to any suggestions or ininiatives from them. Autocratic leadership provides stong motivation to the leader and this is shown to be true as it has been successful in the past. It is effective as it permits quick decision-making as only the one person needs to decide for the whole group and this individual keeps decisions to themselves until they feel the rest of the group need to know what they are. Autocratic leaders do not trust anyone.
Democratic Leadership – Participative or democratic leadership style favours group decision making as shown that the leader only gives instruction after consulting the group. The leader can earn the cooperation of the group by doing this and therefore can motivate followers effectively and positively. The decisions arise from consultation and participation within the group members first so the decision making is not unilateral such as the autocratic style. When democratic leaders are present in the workplace the leadership style produces a work environment that employees can feel satisfied with the environement of the workplace. Subordinates feel that their opinion counts because of the shared communication and because of that feeling they can become more committed to achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation.
Laissez Faire or Free Rein Leadership – A free rein leader allows maximum freedom to subordinates, by leaving the group entirely to itself and does not lead them every step of the way but rather motivates them by trusting the individuals to do things themselves. Subordinates are given a freehand in deciding their own policies and methods. Free rein leadership is considered better than the authoritarian style but not as effective as the democratic style.