Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire Leadership, Democratic and Autocratic Leadership Styles

Laissez-Faire Leadership and other Leadership Styles

In this article we are going to discuss Laissez-Faire Leadership and other styles of leaderships. People are born with several innate qualities, and on the top one can have the leadership quality. As, a powerful and effective leader persuade the people around to do the certain tasks in the desired manner. The leadership quality is not confined to the four walls of an organization only, but is widespread to every nook and corner of the life events and places be it in house or even in organizing a house warming party. In 1939, Kurt Lewin and his associate researchers identified different styles of leadership. The description of different styles of leadership is as follows:

Laissez-Faire Leadership
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Types of Leadership Styles

Democratic Leadership Style

As the name is suggesting, this kind of leadership style build on the values of democracy, incorporating the essence of democratic values in true sense by the leader. Cooperative environment prevails throughout the environment, wherein all the members do cooperate with each other under the guidance of the leader.

Moreover, in the decision making, all the members are being asked to contribute in their capacity, and also leader motivate the entire team to be share their ideas for better decision making.

Besides this, people are encouraged as well as rewarded for their creativity and their contribution, this in turn level up their intrinsic motivation to work more efficiently. Adding to this, the importance of this type of the leadership style is being researched around the world, and found that this is the predictor of higher productivity and loyalty among the employees. 

Researchers’ Views on Leadership Styles

Many researches have proven that the democratic leader possess specific traits i.e. honesty, intelligence, creativity, fairness, competence, courage etc. Good democratic leader also respects the individuality and give voice to every contribution of the members. Communication is understood as the main key in the organization by the leader, as a result all the group members feels involved and committed to the given tasks.

On the other hand, certain cons are also associated with this type of leadership styles, such as non-clarity of roles and responsibility which may lead to the late completion of the tasks. Moreover, not all the members could be as skilled as required for the task, in that case also the quality contribution is questionable.

Autocratic Leadership Style

This leadership style is also known as “Leader-Centered Style” or “Authoritarian Style”. This style is also popularly considered as the opposite of democratic style as in this kind of leadership style the leader is supposed to be in center of all the matters belong to the organization, be it decision making or execution. The subordinates are not included in the planning phase nor their ideas are being valued by the leader.

The leader is driven by the values of autocratic system, where the leader stands tall to the extent making himself/herself almost unavailable for the group members, thus one sided communication prevails in the environment.

The leader practices the close and strict supervision of the subordinates on regular basis making it even more difficult to the workers to work independently and democratically. In addition to this, members are always being imposed with decision and drive through the fear and punishment. The autocratic leader wants to accomplish the task through the use of authority.

Leadership Styles: Advantages and Disadvantages

This leadership style also has certain pros and cons. Considering the pros of autocratic leadership style, quick decision making can be observed as the leader without consulting other has to take the decision, thus saving the time and also keeping the confidential matters secret.

Adding to this, since the subordinates are always under close supervision of centralized authority so the chances of error are feeble.

One most important benefit associated with this kind of leadership style is the need of less skilled workers at the bottom makes it more desirable by the organization as it seems most economic. However, many cons are also associated to it, as the subordinates are not the part of decision making, thus they remain uniformed about the task core requirement and the objective behind it.

The person assigned with the responsibilities is being never consulted for the consent, thus making it most inhuman approach since they are being forced to follow the commands of the leader. By never being the part of planning, the subordinates’ creative minds remain unused which is the wastage of human resources.

The success of any task entirely depends upon the skill set of the leader only, makes it a bit risky. To conclude, the most important con of this leadership style is that the human is not valued.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

The definition of laissez-faire, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a “practice characterized by a usually deliberate abstention from direction.” This definition clearly indicates that in this type of leadership style, the leader remains unreasonably absent from the task planning as well as execution part, and leave all up to the employee just by assigning the tasks to them.

Afterwards, no follow ups shall be made from the manager to the task assigned. The chances of success are more in this type of leadership style, only if the employees are self-motivated and are skilled to take care the tasks on their own. Additionally, the passion of employees creates the conducive environment which is essential for individual growth.

Laissez-Faire Leadership Styles: Advantages and Disadvantages

The benefits of this type of leadership style could only be counted if the manager is well aware of the potentiality of his/her team. Moreover, this type of leadership also empowers the employee, self-concept, confidence in turn improving the productivity overall. Besides this, in this kind of environment, the employees would be fully satisfied with their job as they get independence and recognition.

However, few demerits can also be counted, such as, this type of leadership style won’t work if the employees are not knowledgeable, experienced, expert, or skilled, which is important to complete the tasks without any guidance of leader.

In addition to this, the general human tendency is to not to be on toes until someone is supervising them to complete the project, which clearly lacks here. Thus, detachment of the leader from the group as well as tasks can result in less cohesiveness and also less commitment from the employees.

Democratic Vs Autocratic Leadership Style

Both the leadership styles are at extreme ends and are flip sides to each other. Following description will let you understand the difference between these two important leadership Styles environment.

1An environment of mutual trust exists  An environment of mutual mistrust exists.  
2Co-operative planning is encouraged  Monopoly in planning is practiced.
3‘we’ feeling prevails in the environment.  ‘I’ feeling prevails in the environment.  
4discussion of the problems with the members and accepts the suggestions.  Top authority does not accept any suggestion given by the other members.
5All the planning and program are flexible in nature which can be changed as per the interest and needStringent rules are observed as the norm in this type of environment
6Members contributions is encouraged and rewardedOnly the contribution of Leader is being appreciated
7Generally, productivity is high in this kind of environmentPeople feel less associated with the organisation, thus do not feel accountable for the task completion.
Democratic Vs Autocratic Leadership Style

Conclusion: Conclusively, leadership is one of the many important traits of the personality. By opting for an appropriate leadership style in true sense one can be a successful manager in every life event. One has to be precautious about the adoption of learning style, as much depends upon the human capital which an organization has. Keeping all the things in the centre, a leader can do wonder and truly can be a role model to the subordinates.

Tags: Laissez-Faire Leadership, Laissez-Faire, Leadership styles- Laissez-Faire Leadership

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