Are you a leader in your workplace? If so, did you know that there are several types of leadership? Once you understand the different types of leaders, you can decide which one you want to be. Here are five of the most common types of leadership. 

Servant Leadership

Servant leaders pour into their people and believe in serving before being serving. They are constantly looking for ways to help their teams succeed. Servant leaders are known for putting their own needs on the back burner while they attend to the needs of others.

Servant leaders usually have very loyal team members. Their selflessness develops a high level of trust among their followers, and people are eager to work for them. Servant leadership can be challenging, however, because most people find it difficult to push their own to-do list aside to help others. 

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders work much differently than servant leaders. When they do something for a team member, they expect something in return. Everything is done with expectations. Rewards and punishments are clear.

Transactional leadership is sometimes known as “telling leadership.” Followers of transactional leaders know what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if they don’t follow through. 

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders place a high value on creativity, innovation, and continuous improvement. They are always looking for ways to help change their organization for the better. To do this, they focus on empowering their teams.

Followers of transformational leaders are not micromanaged, but instead, they enjoy a high level of trust and independence in their work. Everyone is encouraged to “think outside the box,” rather than to do things as they have been done before.

Democratic Leadership

As the name implies, democratic leaders value input from everyone. When decisions need to be made, they encourage their team members to express their opinions. Ideally, they can align their agendas with their teams’ and get everyone working together toward a common vision.

Team members who work under a democratic leader feel valued and trusted. There can be some frustration, however, when a consensus cannot be reached. When all team members can’t get on the same page, the majority rules.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire is French for “leave it be.” Laissez-faire leaders don’t micromanage employees. In fact, they take a “hands-off” approach and allow their teams to work with autonomy. Because of the relaxed approach of the leadership type, some team members may take advantage of the lack of accountability. Others may be confused by the lack of direction. For those reasons, laissez-faire leadership should only be practiced with responsible, reliable employees.