6 Leadership Style Types With Their Pros and Cons

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6 Leadership Style Types With Their Pros and Cons

Proper leadership is a vital component of success in the business world. A great leader can mentor, lead, inspire, and keep the team spirit alive, even in the toughest situations. It is particularly essential as in a dynamic corporate environment; lows outweigh the highs.

Just like everything else, leadership also comes in many different styles that one may choose to follow. It is not a matter of right or wrong; it is just a matter of what works best for oneself.

However, it is essential to understand certain implications of these leadership style types. It is because leadership styles play a significant role in how your subordinates view you and how you manage them. Whether you want to lead as a friend or boss, act as a democrat or autocrat, etc.

These attributes play a significant role in a team's success. They help ascertain how to communicate better, motivate your team, handle challenges, pick a management approach, etc.

Thus, it is essential to know which leadership style type suits you and your team the best. So, here are the six leadership style types to consider with their pros and cons.

6 Leadership Style Types With Their Pros and Cons

1. Transactional

As the name suggests, this is strictly a give and take mechanism on leadership. It is through dishing out tasks with rewards and penalties attached to them.

This leadership style is a superb source of motivation to get things done and keep the workforce happy at the same time. It is also an excellent way for the fair rewards and recognition program of a company and is highly directive.

Pro: Transactional leadership diminishes confusion and guesswork, as the leader cites everything. It is also very motivating from the employees’ point of view.

Con: Because this style is traditional in its set guidelines, it may halt innovation and creativity.

2. Transformational

This leadership style rides on the concept of transforming existing processes into something better. Individuals following this style are always on the lookout for innovations to bring into the business processes.

Transformational leaders inspire and empower employees to better themselves and the company. Unlike transactional style, this promotes and gives total autonomy to let the employees’ creative juices flow.

Pro: This style encourages a high level of trust in the workforce’s' abilities and helps them come up with new ideas towards a common goal. Creativity is let loose in transformational leadership.

Con: Since this style is always on the lookout for better ways, things may get unstable. It can result in confusion in the processes and among employees.

3. Servant

The servant leadership model runs on the motto of serving others. Rather than leading a workforce, individuals think of ways on how to make things better for their workforce. The servant leaders operate on the idea of service first, lead later.

This style is a favorite among the workers, and works wonders for employee morale and employee experience.

Pro: This leadership style type creates a fair increase in employee loyalty and engagement. It also helps in strengthening the employer-employee relationship and trust among the parties.

Con: A servant leadership model can be tough at times. This is because it always requires thinking about others rather than oneself. This selfless trait of always putting others' needs ahead of one’s own is not easy at all times.

4. Democratic

Just like the name suggests, this style focuses on giving a voice to everyone concerned. An individual following this style takes into account the opinions of all those matters. This process is put into effect regardless of the status and ranks of individuals.

Democratic leaders emphasize the inputs and idealogy of workers. Because of its employee empowerment nature, the business world also calls it as "participative leadership." In this style, leaders don't give orders but instead work together collaboratively.

Pro: Democratic leadership style promotes empowerment, creativity, participation, and innovation in the workplace. This helps with the job satisfaction level of the employees.

Con: This leadership style can be lengthy at times since the decision-making process includes the opinions of all concerned. The processes involved in getting these inputs can also be costly at times.

5. Autocratic

In simple terms, this style is the complete opposite of the democratic leadership model. Leaders following this regime seem to be rigid in their ways with no space for change. Here, the individuals assume all the power to themselves and make the decisions as they see fit.

An autocratic leader gives out instructions on the tasks a team needs to do and how. This style limits the creativity of the working staff to try new things.

Pro: The decisions in this style take less time since it is just one person's opinion. Also, because this model comes with clear instructions, it cuts out the chances of confusion.

Con: In autocratic leadership, employees feel ignored and unheard of their opinions. This lessens their employee engagement level.

6. Laissez-Faire

"Laissez-Faire" is a French term meaning leave it be. This leadership style rejects micromanagement and gives employees the freedom to work by themselves. Followers of this style don't bother with scrutinizing the team members but instead trusts them to do the job well.

To balance out the lack of participation, leaders in this concept provide its team with the resources and tools needed to work well.

Pro: The Laissez-Faire leadership style type promotes trust and independence in the workplace.

Con: If a particular team isn't well versed with itself, this model can be chaotic initially.

These are six of the leadership style types commonly practiced in the business world today. Given the differences, they all have situations in which they shine better than others.

Now, it's your turn to weigh the pros and cons and decide on the type of leader you want to be.


Developing the proper type of leadership skills is vital for all organizations. Management will be more accessible when the style of leadership approach applied gels well with the team. It is because this will promote harmony and make for a better working environment for employees in the workplace.

To choose the best, you must know yourself, know your staff and their needs, understand and practice the different styles. After this, be open to feedback and make the final decision.

In some cases, it is not uncommon for individuals to use a blend of different styles. It is because different situations demand different approaches. In this scenario, you need to practice agility in your leadership style as well.

These are the things you must do to make the right decision in choosing between different leadership style types. To wrap things up, we hope you choose the best for you and your team.

This article is written by Jyoti Prakash Barman. He is an in-house Content Marketer at Vantage Circle with interests in music and automobiles. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com