One of the key signs that you are running a successful business is that you are attracting successful individuals to your company. But while having top talent in your workforce is of huge benefit to your business, expertise and advanced skills can sometimes bring ego along with them. After all, your team leaders have not got to where they are by shrinking back and letting others take control.

It is important to be able to recognise and understand different leadership styles that you may encounter in order to harness them productively. It is easy to collaborate well with your staff when all is running smoothly when targets are being met and clients are satisfied, but when the pressure is on and work is being scrutinised, difficult styles can be revealed and personality clashes can occur.

Here is a helpful rundown of 4 of the main leadership styles to look out for, and how best to manage them.


The authoritarian leaders on your team will control and assess the work of those under them very closely, which can lead to micromanaging. Make sure that your authoritarian leaders have the energy to stay up to date on their team’s performance and that they are skilled enough to wield all that decision-making power wisely.


Transactional leaders use rewards and penalties to motivate those they oversee, so this style requires constant monitoring of results. But it can be stifling and inflexible, so ensure that these leaders are in an appropriate sector.


This French term literally translates as “let do” in English. A laissez-faire leader will let the teams under them get on with their work, with very little oversight or interference. Your managers should only adopt this style if the teams under them are skilled enough to self-direct and can be trusted to flag issues honestly.


A democratic leader is interested in taking the views of their whole team into consideration. This can lead to collaborative and highly motivated team members, but do be aware that this style can result in indecision at key moments. Make sure that the democratic leaders in your company also have the confidence and training to make difficult calls when they need to.

And finally, remember to be self-reflective. If you recognise yourself in any of these styles, make sure you are managing your own behaviours to get the best out of everyone.