Leadership And Team Management Styles

Posted on Nov 11 2013 - 10:45am by Jessica Conars


Being a manager is different from being a leader, although these two are often confused and interchanged. Nevertheless, they should always go hand in hand. And while it’s not necessary that leaders are good managers, it is extremely important that mangers are good leaders. Why? Because if a manager does not have all the qualities of a leader, they can ruin a business in the blink of an eye.

But what is the difference between managers and leaders?

Managers vs Leaders

What makes you a manager?: Managers are the people who are supposed to control a team. Among the qualities needed are planning and organizational skills. Managers answer questions. Their primary concern is to help the team be successful and productive. Being a good manager requires the ability to do things right no matter what.

What makes you a leader?: Leaders ask questions. They make you think about a particular issue. They evoke creativity. They inspire their teammates. A leader can be anyone who has a talent and not just ideas but great ideas.

If managers are supposed to do things right, leadership is about doing the right thing. When it comes to business, there may occur many unexpected challenges and situations on a daily basis and doing things by the book may not be a good idea. This is where a good leader comes and deals with the problem. A good leader is not somebody who has all the answers; a good leader is a person who goes with change, not against it.

Leadership and management styles

It should be pointed out that different leaders should be allowed to emerge in different situations, depending on the team’s needs. Sometimes a team may need to be pushed harder and be led forward; other times a warm hug is a better and more reasonable solution. In order for the team to succeed in what they do, they have to be aware of these things and know when to go for the first and when to go for the second solution.

A three-year study over kinetic leadership carried out by Daniel Goleman looked for possible leadership behaviors and styles. According to this research, the ‘type’ of leadership improves a company’s profits by 30 per cent. For this reason, Goleman suggests a list of leadership styles business people should bear in mind.

Take a look at them:

The coaching leader: The coaching style can be very tricky if teammates do not want to learn or change, that’s why one should be careful when trying to apply it. This method can help leaders prepare teammates for the future. In a nutshell this style means: “Try this.” It requires the leader’s proficiency.

The democratic leader: This style attempts to urge teammates to participate in the decision-making, thus building consensus among them. It is a good choice if the leader lacks fresh ideas and needs help from his team. However, it is not recommended in emergency situations where faster reactions are expected. In short, this style says: “What do you think?”

The affiliative leader: The affiliative leader aims to evoke a feeling of belonging to the team and organization. This is connected with the above-mentioned need-a-hug situation. What this style attempts to do is help the team deal with stressful situations. Summed up it says: “People come first.”

The coercive leader: This style can be helpful in emergency situations or a time of crisis when things can get out of control. Summed up it means: “Do what I tell you” and it can work only in emergency situations. Otherwise it should be avoided.

The authoritative leader: This style is appropriate in times of change when the teammates need a new vision. In this case, leaders should be able to mobilize and inspire the team. Summed up this style goes like this: “Come with me.”

The pacesetting leader: This style is appropriate when the teammates are already skilled and quick results can be expected. Summed up, it says: “Do as I do, now.”

Having the styles in mind, a good leader is supposed to combine them or use them independently, according to the everyday situations and obstacles the team is faced with.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Kulveer Virk

About the Author

Jessica works at BestCleaners London as a leader of their professional team.