One of the most important aspects of a company is its leadership. Your leadership style can make or break a company, and it's especially important when it comes to the virtual assistant (VA) industry.
In this blog post, we'll explore the different types of leadership and how they can shape the VA personalities you hire.
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13 Types of Leadership Styles and How They Can Impact the VA Personalities You Hire
You can click on these links below to jump on a specific section:
- What Are the Different Types of Leadership Styles?
- Participative Leaders | Democratic Leadership
- Autocratic Leaders | Autocratic Leadership or authoritarian leadership
- Achievement-Oriented Leaders | Achievement-Oriented Leadership
- Action-Oriented Leaders | Action-Oriented Leadership
- Laissez Faire Leaders | Delegative Leadership
- Transformational Leaders | Transformational Leadership
- Servant Leaders | Servant Leadership
- Coaching Leaders | Coaching Leadership
- Transactional Leaders | Transactional Leadership
- Bureaucratic Leaders | Bureaucratic Leadership
- Charismatic Leaders | Charismatic Leadership
- Pacesetter Leaders | Pacesetter Leadership
- Visionary Leaders | Visionary Leadership
- What Is Your Management Style?
- What VA Personality Do You Need for Your Business?
What Are the Different Types of Leadership Styles?
The thing with defining different styles of leadership is that most people can’t be neatly put into one box. You will find that you often identify with more than one style, or you’re capable of switching your style around, depending on the situation.
You’ll also find that there are different theories or methodologies used to come up with different leadership styles. For this reason, we’re just looking at the most common leadership styles that seem to come up the most often among types presented by researchers.
Leadership style has the impact of attracting or repelling employees, so it’s an important consideration before hiring.
1. Participative Leaders | Democratic Leadership
Also known as collaborative or democratic leaders, these are the types of leaders who make decisions with the team. This means that they take into account what everyone has to say before coming to a decision.
There is a lot of back-and-forth discussion, and the leader usually takes on more of a facilitator role. They like to ensure that employees know that their ideas are considered to be important.
A democratic leader also tends to be comfortable with delegating authority to other team members.
The advantage of democratic style is that it builds trust and respect among team members. It also leads to higher buy-in from employees because they feel like their voices are heard.
The downside is that it can lead to indecisiveness if there are too many people involved in the decision-making process.
The participative leadership style works well among established teams where you can trust that people know what you expect and are onboard with your ideas. It may be more difficult to get traction this way when your team is very new.
2. Autocratic Leaders | Autocratic Leadership or authoritarian leadership
Many people believe that autocratic leaders are authoritarian figureheads who make all the decisions without any input from their team.
However, autocratic leadership style can actually be quite effective in certain situations.
For example, when a company is facing a crisis, an autocratic leader can provide clear and decisive direction that is necessary to get through the tough times.
Additionally, autocratic leaders can be successful in fast-paced environments where quick decisions need to be made without time for lengthy discussions. In these cases, an autocratic leader can help to keep the team focused and on track.
Of course, autocratic leadership style is not without its challenges.
This style of leadership can often foster a feeling of animosity among team members who feel like they are not being given a voice.
In addition, autocratic leaders tend to become too involved in the day-to-day operations of their team, leading to micromanagement.
Nevertheless, when used appropriately, autocratic leadership style can be a powerful tool for driving results.
3. Achievement-Oriented Leaders | Achievement-Oriented Leadership
Achievement-oriented leaders are all about goals. They tend to think of the “stretch” and believe that their team can do better. They like an environment of continuous improvement, and tend to empower their employees, while establishing a hierarchy of goals.
This leadership style often assumes that employees will do their personal best (which is not a bad thing). However, sometimes a more directive management style is necessary.
4. Action-Oriented Leaders | Action-Oriented Leadership
Action-oriented leaders tend to have a strong sense of immediacy, leading them to focus well on seeing tasks through to fruition.
People who use action-oriented types of leadership style typically lead by example, and often, team members see their own roles as being more in support of this leader, who is the key achiever.
This type of leadership is great for ensuring projects are seen through to completion in smaller businesses. The leader may have a tendency to try to take too many things onboard themselves though, where perhaps they could delegate more.
5. Laissez Faire Leaders | Delegative Leadership
Also known as a delegative leader, a laissez faire leader delegates authority to their team members. They allow employees to make decisions and take actions without much guidance.
The laissez faire leadership style can be very empowering for employees. It allows them to feel like they’re trusted to do their job and they have the autonomy to make decisions. It can also be effective when there's a clear vision and everyone is aligned with it.
The downside is that it can lead to confusion among team members if there isn’t enough guidance. People may not know what is expected of them or what the priorities are.
Laissez faire leadership style works well when you have a team of people who are very experienced and know what they’re doing. It’s not as effective when you have a team that needs more direction.
6. Transformational Leaders | Transformational Leadership
Transformational leaders inspire employees to do more than what is expected of them. They provide a vision for the future and help employees see how their work fits into that vision.
Transformational leaders often have high emotional intelligence and are able to build strong relationships with their team members.
Transformational leaders often have high emotional intelligence and are able to build strong relationships with their team members.
However, it can also be challenging to maintain over the long term if the leader is not able to keep up the same level of energy and enthusiasm. A transformational leader needs to be constantly working to inspire and motivate their team.
Transformational leadership style seems to be what a lot of startups aspire. They see transformational as leading through vision, with a careful eye on the future. This management style also involves challenging company norms and looking for a “better” way.
A transformational style is encouraged in companies that want to see strong growth. The danger of this leadership style is that the leader may lose sight of individual learning curves if team members don’t receive the right coaching for new responsibilities.
7. Servant Leaders | Servant Leadership
A servant leader is someone who focuses on the needs of their employees. They work to develop their employees' skills and help them grow in their careers.
The servant leadership style can create a very positive and supportive work environment. Employees feel like they are valued and that their career development is a priority.
The downside is that it can be difficult to maintain if there aren’t clear expectations or guidelines. A servant leader needs to be very intentional about setting boundaries so that they don’t become too involved in their employees’ lives.
This leadership style is most effective when you have a team of people who are dedicated and want to grow in their careers. It’s less effective when you have a team that is more focused on the task at hand.
8. Coaching Leaders | Coaching Leadership
A coaching leader focuses on helping individuals or teams to improve their performance and reach their goals.
Unlike other leadership styles, coaching leadership is not about giving orders or telling people what to do. Instead, it is about supporting and guiding others to help them reach their full potential. This involves providing constructive feedback, setting expectations, and offering advice and encouragement.
While the coaching leadership style can be used in a variety of settings, it is particularly well-suited for sports teams or businesses that are looking to improve their performance. When used effectively, this leadership style can help individuals and groups to achieve their goals and reach new levels of success.
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9. Transactional Leaders | Transactional Leadership
A transactional leader is someone who focuses on the exchange of resources between the leader and the followers. This type of leader provides something (such as pay or benefits) in exchange for the follower’s compliance with orders or expectations.
The transactional leadership style can be effective in situations where there is a clear hierarchy and where there is a need for quick compliance with orders. However, it can also create an environment of mistrust and resentment if it is used excessively.
A transactional leader needs to be careful not to overuse rewards and punishments, or they risk losing the respect of their team.
10. Bureaucratic Leaders | Bureaucratic Leadership
Bureaucratic leadership is all about following the rules. This type of leader aims to create a well-oiled machine, where everyone knows their role and sticks to the established procedures.
This can be an effective way to run a business or government organization, but it can also lead to inflexibility and a lack of creativity.
A bureaucratic leader needs to strike a balance between maintaining order and encouraging innovation.
When done right, this type of leadership can result in a highly efficient and effective organization. But when done wrong, it can stifle creativity and lead to stagnation.
11. Charismatic Leaders | Charismatic Leadership
A charismatic leader has a strong presence and can easily capture the attention of others. They are often described as being magnetic, inspiring, or even mesmerizing.
This type of leader is able to rally people around a common cause and motivate employees to achieve great things. However, charismatic leaders can also be narcissistic and manipulative.
It is important for a charismatic leader to use their power for good and not abuse it. When used correctly, charismatic leadership can be very effective in achieving goals and inspiring others.
12. Pacesetter Leaders | Pacesetter Leadership
Pacesetter leaders are always setting the pace for others to follow. They are driven, ambitious, and always seem to be in a hurry.
This type of leader is often very successful, as they are able to achieve a lot in a short period of time. However, pacesetters can also be impatient and overbearing.
The pacesetter leadership style needs to strike a balance between leading by example and allowing others to take the lead.
13. Visionary Leaders | Visionary Leadership
Visionary leaders are able to see the big picture and where their organization is headed in the future. They have a clear vision for the future and are able to inspire others to follow them.
While visionary leaders are often very successful, they can also be out of touch with reality. It is important for a visionary leader to make sure their vision is achievable and that they are not asking too much of their team.
What Is Your Management Style?
When considering how to hire someone who will be suited to working with you, it helps if you begin by knowing your own management style.
What type of leader are you?
If you can, seek feedback from people who have worked closely with you before, because we often have an idea of what we think our own leadership style is, only to find that others have a slightly different view.
Asking others can give you some valuable input you won’t get from a “What is my leadership style?” quiz or test. You can find out how people see your leadership style, and what types of people respond best to it.
If you currently have team members or have had them in the past, think about the personality types of your top performers. Those are the ones who obviously were a good match for your type of leadership.
What VA Personality Do You Need for Your Business?
Your leadership style and personality traits are definitely something to consider when hiring a virtual assistant, or any other team member. Your first step is to understand what your own leadership style is, and how that works with different personality types.
Next, be clear about your management style during interviews. Let people know who you are and what you expect. People will often self-select out if they don’t feel they’d be a good fit for your style.
The hiring process starts with you. People buy into other people, so understanding your own style and the personality types that respond best to it will go a long way toward a successful hire.
The VA personality you hire is going to have a lot to do with your own leadership style.
Be clear about what type of leader you are, and what types of people respond best to your leadership style. This will help you weed out applicants who wouldn’t be a good fit, and increase the chances that you’ll find a VA personality that’s compatible with yours.