There are many different types of leader in the world, so the definition of leadership has become a little ambiguous. Some believe leadership to be defined by how well someone can direct and instruct other people whilst others believe leadership is all about motivating others. The real definition is a little cloudier than that - in reality, people use a mix of techniques to 'lead' other people and these are covered below.
If you are interested in discovering your own preferred leadership style, you should take our DISC assessment test.
Leadership By Directing Definition
This style of leadership involves instructing others on what they should do and often can or will include cracking the whip when 'followers' are not doing as they're told.
- Dictatorial style - communication is mostly one-way from the leader to the followers.
- Benefits followers with little experience as they can simply follow the leadership of their leader.
- Benefits of the direct leadership style include it being one of the fastest methods - since there are few committees, there is only really one decision maker and productivity while the leader is around can be extremely high.
- Drawbacks include de-motivating experienced followers, a communication bottleneck through the leader, and the additional problem that if the leader were to leave, the followers would be lost. Similarly, if the leader is absent for short periods of time, productivity in the followers can drop.
Leadership By Motivating Definition
Leading others by motivating them involves persuasion and convincing followers to see your point of view.
- Involving style - communication is multi-directional between the leader and the followers.
- Benefits of this leadership style include creating a highly motivated group of followers. These followers will continue to work at a fast pace even in the absence of the leader.
- Drawbacks are primarily around the numerous communication channels - committees or discussion groups will take longer to come to decisions than if using the direct leadership style.
The Best Leadership Definition
The best leaders in the world form a mix of approaches, as appropriate. They will direct, dictate and control when dealing with less experienced followers, or better yet, delegate to someone else to direct, dictate and control. They will vary their approach when working with more experienced followers by involving them closely and respecting their opinion, often delegating control and authority as a sign of trust and respect which gains even more motivation in return.
Discover Your Own Leadership Style
If you'd like to discover what leadership definition you have in your own personality, take our free DISC assessment test.