6 Different Leadership Styles in Business

6 Different Leadership Styles in Business


Discover how different leadership styles in business work and how they are implemented.


The driving factors behind strong leadership within a business environment is providing clear direction, implementing ideas and motivating people to enhance performance.


You may be thinking, how do I become an effective leader? What leadership qualities are required to truly build staff confidence, boost work rate levels and the overall well-being of my team?


There are many different types of leadership styles you can adopt as a supervisor, team leader or manager, the question is firstly, what are the styles of leadership and how can I best utilise them within my own management job role. Before we explore the six main leadership styles in business, view the inspiring leadership YouTube video below, by widely respected leadership speaker Simon Sinek.



Autocratic Leadership Style


The autocratic leadership style is very direct and authoritative approach, managers attain complete authority and control over their team in every aspect of their job role.

Autocratic Leadership Style

Due to their overbearing and single minded approach this can be very demotivating for the team and can lead to low confidence and staff morale. Being a more direct style of leadership, it is possibly best used when employees require a more closer supervision within a task rather than a team setting.

  • Typical phrase: “I Want This Done Now!”

  • Leadership Qualities: Goal orientated and self driven.

  • How They Lead: Leading through power


Visionary Leadership Style


When listing different leadership styles in business, the visionary leadership style very much engages people towards a vision set out by the manager. They are very confident in their ability to spark change and innovation, this approach is perfect when your teams productivity is falling and a new direction is needed.


It has been known to fail when aiming to persuade more experienced team members who are set in their ways.

  • Typical phrase: “Come with me”

  • Leadership Qualities: Self confident.

  • Leadership Style: Leading by a new direction.


Affiliative Leadership Style


This style of leadership focuses purely on the teams relationship from a collective and individual standpoint. The affiliative leadership style is concerned with building stronger relationship, enhancing employee trust and ensuring the overall team connection is present.


After all, by reducing work life tension and stress along with nurturing the the well-being of your team, it can have a direct impact on the quality of work they produce. The qualities of a leader within this style requires advanced people skills.


When done badly, it avoids emotionally distressing situations such as negative feedback from others. Done right, it is often used along with visionary leadership.

  • Typical phrase: “People come first”

  • Leadership Qualities: Team orientated and people focused.

  • Leadership Style: Leading through relationships.


Democratic Leadership Style


Democratic Leadership StyleThe democratic leadership styles are expectant of others within the team contributing ideas to the task or project. Like with all styles of leadership, there is a time and a place when incite from the entire team is needed.


The democratic approach can encourage team synergy, teamwork and bring employees together by allowing team members to have a say. When employees have a say they feel slightly more valued in their job role. When executed poorly by managers, it can seem a lot of listening but very little effective action. When comparing the 6 different leadership styles in business, this style is the least aggresive one.

  • Typical phrase: “What do you think”

  • Leadership Qualities: Collaborative skills.

  • Leadership Style: Leading by agreement


Pace-setting Leadership


When thinking of a pace-setting leader keep in mind the athlete and the pace setter within a long distance race. The objective of a pace maker in the athletics world for example, is to set the pace ensuring the athletes maintain a steady and consistent speed at optimum level to progress forward.


If the pace setter sets off too quickly it can upset the rhythm of the race and the individuals athletes meaning they may burn out physical and mentally in order to finish the race in a quick time. Conversely, setting the pace too slow means the athletes can be doing a lot more in the time they have been running, so getting the balance is an art within itself.


Pace-Setting Leadership

The pace-setting leader sets exciting challenges and clear goals for their team whilst demanding personal responsibility for meeting those targets. Different leadership styles can overlap in their desires for example, the pace setter has the positive intentions of an affiliative style leader, they also demonstrate the demands of a more autocratic approach which are direct and driven.


So in turn although their intentions are positive a forward thinking, they can come across as very controlling due to their high demands. Done well, the clear guidance and clear demands can really life a teams performance, done badly and it can really breakdown the confidence and belief of a team.

  • Typical phrase: “Do as I do”

  • Leadership Qualities: Driven to achieve.

  • Leadership Style: Leading through example



Coaching Leadership Style

Coahing Style LeadershipThe coaching leadership styles provide a more long term approach. As highlighted above different leadership styles bring out both the best or the worse in teams depending on when and how they are used.


This leadership style focuses on developing each team members skill-set and attributes whilst providing positive reinforcement. When employees believe and see that their own manager values and respects their individual career goals within the workplace, they may engage more fully in team projects and daily tasks. When the coaching leadership style is done badly, it can come across as micro-managing.

  • Typical phrase: “Try this”

  • Leadership Qualities: Developing Others.

  • Leadership Style: Leading through advice.


Looking To Improve Your Leadership Skills At Work?


Now that you have identified a few different leadership styles in business, it’s important to identify how you can best execute them in order to get the best out of your team. Live and Learn Consultancy provide a popular 2 day Leadership Skills Training course that is delivered onsite at your premises anywhere in the UK. Get in touch today!


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