4 Types of Management Styles that will make you an exceptional Leader

The type of leader you are has a significant impact on the success of your team. Understanding the different Management Styles needed to achieve this, can give you an edge in leadership.

A strong leader is likely to inspire loyalty, hard work, and high levels of morale, while a poor leader can result in a frequent turnover, loss of productivity, and unmotivated employees.

There are many steps you can take to make sure you are in the previous category. One of the actions you can take today is to understand and implement the types of management styles that will inspire your team to do their best work.

Company leaders and managers interact with their employees in several ways, from collaborating on projects to providing feedback. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us to know that leaders also have a lot of influence on how employees feel about their jobs.

In fact, one study found that almost half of the employees said they had quit a job due to a bad manager.

If you look closely at the situation, you can find several direct correlations between the quality of a manager and important factors such as commitment, retention and employee happiness. That is why mastering the most effective management styles is one of the key components to nurture and grow a successful team.

Visionary management style

The visionary leader excels in the articulation of a high-level strategic direction for the company and the mobilization of the team towards this goal.

In other words, the visionary leader is the person who provides a roadmap for the company, and the employees are the ones who use this map as a guide to pave the way forward.

However, this does not mean that the visionary management style encourages authoritative decision making. Although it is the leader who ultimately decides the direction of the company, this vision is based on what is best for both the organization and its employees.

That is why visionary leaders must be open-minded: this allows them to absorb employee comments and make changes when obstacles arise.

One of the benefits of this type of management style is that it inspires trust between the leader and the employees.

Visionary leaders rely on their teams to do the job and, as a result, employees have more autonomy over their daily roles.

This is a productive way to build a solid relationship with their employees, especially because 39% of workers said that being a micro-manager was the worst trait a boss could have.

Another benefit is that this management style is extremely flexible. One of the best things about a vision is that there is more than one “right” way to achieve it, which gives companies the ability to test different paths and methods.

The features necessary to master this management style include:

  • High emotional intelligence
  • Flexibility when obstacles arise
  • Be open-minded to comments
  • The ability to inspire, motivate and mobilize groups
  • Strategic and long-term thinking skills.

What the visionary management style looks like in action:

A startup is launching a new product. The CEO sits with his leadership team and, together, they develop a high-level strategy for launching.

She organizes a meeting of all hands to share the vision with the entire company and have a discussion about it. From there, she empowers her staff to take the next steps.

The CEO is available to provide guidance along the way and communicates regularly with the team leaders to ensure that everything goes in the right direction, but does not get involved in everyday activities.

Democratic management style

A leader who follows the democratic management styles collects the perspectives and comments of his employees to inform decisions.

This is done with the intention of building consensus among key stakeholders. Unlike top-down management styles, where decisions are made only by the leadership team, the democratic management style is transparent, encourages employee participation and is relatively objective.

This is beneficial because it ensures that the entire organization is aligned or, at a minimum, understands how an important decision was made.

This is important because employees may feel excluded when decisions are made without their input. A democratic management style is also effective because it gives voice to everyone in the company, which can lead to a greater diversity of thinking.

This style also has benefits for leaders and managers of a company. Having the opportunity to constantly consult with employees and gather their comments can lead to critical ideas about the general feeling, frustrations, and wishes for the future of the organization.

The features necessary to master this management styles include:

  • A sense of objectivity
  • Excellent communication skills
  • The ability to make sense of many opinions and perspectives.
  • Decision-making skills
  • Open mind

What the democratic management style in action looks like:

A manager has to decide whether or not his team should discard a project that is producing ambiguous results.

Instead of making the decision on your own, you have individual meetings with everyone involved in the project, conduct an anonymous survey and collect additional data.

After collecting all the comments, he decides to cancel the project because most of the comments suggested that it was not a productive use of time.

Coaching management style

This management style emphasizes the professional and personal growth of employees. Leaders who follow this style are deeply interested in the needs of their team and assume a mentor role more than a traditional “boss” role.

This means they are available to share advice and guidance, willing to serve as advocates and always looking for opportunities to help their employees thrive.

What does this look like in practice? For example, suppose an employee shows a lot of interest and promise in the field of inbound marketing.

A leader who follows a coaching management style will find opportunities for this employee to work on inbound marketing projects, encourage him to attend relevant events and provide him with space and resources to further develop the skills needed to succeed.

The coaching management style is excellent to master because it shows employees that their leaders care about their success and well-being.

This inspires employees to produce high-quality work and makes them more likely to feel safe by trusting their managers about any problems that arise in their work.

This is a much better alternative to having an employee who does not trust his manager and leaves the company without prior notice.

The features necessary to master this management style include:

  • A strong desire to help employees grow personally and professionally.
  • Strong listening and feedback skills
  • Empathy and the ability to connect with others.
  • Problem solving skills
  • The ability to build trust and meaningful relationships

What the coaching management style in action looks like:

A manager has a difficult employee named Tim. He acknowledges that Tim is an intelligent and hardworking person, but he is going through a depression, so he uses an upcoming performance evaluation as an opportunity to see how he can better support him.

The manager uses strategic performance review phrases such as:

Highlights them in [action], and I’d love to keep seeing that about you.


I encourage you to continue doing [action]. I have received positive comments that this has really helped the team [result].

To provide comments in a clear but empathetic way, and this opens a productive dialogue about the challenges Tim faces at work

Culture Amp, a company dedicated to facilitating the collection, understanding and action of employee comments, recently compiled a large list of all these phrases and completed them with real-life examples in its article on performance evaluation phrases Here are some of them:

Highlights them in [action], and I’d love to keep seeing that about you.

Culture Amp example:

It excels in the creation of reflective marketing decks. I would love you to continue leading them, especially because I know you enjoy the creative process.

I encourage you to continue doing [action]. I have received positive comments that this has really helped the team [result].

Culture Amp example:

I encourage you to remain a sounding board for your teammates. Many of your team members say you are a great listener and feel comfortable sharing ideas with you.

Together, they develop an action plan that includes adding more variety to Tim’s workload and giving him the opportunity to update his skill set through online courses sponsored by the company. The manager communicates with Tim regularly to make sure he feels he has everything he needs to succeed.

Laissez-Faire management style

The management style of laissez-faire is very discreet and encourages employees to take the lead in most decisions, problem-solving and work.

When implemented in the appropriate work environment, employees will appreciate having the confidence, space, and autonomy to work in ways that maximize their performance.

In general, companies that have a flat structure or do not want to follow a rigid hierarchy are the best candidates for this management style.

It is also important to ensure that you have a team of extremely motivated and competent employees who feel comfortable with minimal leadership supervision.

Managers must also be prepared to enter a conflict management mode whenever their employees lose focus or face each other.

The benefit of this type of leadership is that it can lead to greater innovation, creativity, and productivity since there are no restrictions on the way employees have to work or think.

Similar to the visionary management style, the amount of freedom granted to employees is also an excellent way to build a solid relationship based on trust.

The features necessary to master this management style include:

  • Immense confidence in your team members
  • The ability to have no hands but available when necessary
  • Conflict Management Skills
  • Comfortable with decentralized structures.
  • An ability to monitor progress without being too involved

What Laissez-Faire’s management style looks like in action:

The Marketing Manager is launching a new project with his highly motivated, competent and independent team. It assigns large parts of the project to employees based on their strengths, gives them a deadline and allows them to execute their individual tasks.

The team members will be consulted occasionally to see if they need anything from him, but otherwise he will remain completely free until the deadline.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the type of management style you decide to go with depends entirely on you. If you need any guidance on how to make this decision, here are some key questions that can be asked to get started:

Which of these management styles aligns most with my existing strengths?

What are the gaps in my management style at the moment, and does any of these other alternatives fill those gaps?

What are the needs of my organization at this time?

Have my employees shown preference for one type of management style over another?

What kind of management styles do the leaders of the company I admire use?

Keep in mind that you are not committed to a single type of management style throughout your career. You can try some and see what you think is right, or you can create your own management style by combining your favorite parts of each.

Don’t be afraid to explore and be creative: the ultimate goal is to master the management style that seems natural and also offers the best of your employees.

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