Different Leadership Styles and Their Characteristics

When it comes to the issue of leadership, most people focus on this from the aspect of an executive. However, the type of a leader that one becomes is something that is heavily influenced by one’s early career. Leaders you encounter during your internship, as soon as you enter the business world might inspire you in both negative and positive way, which has both direct and indirect influence on your own leadership abilities. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several different leadership styles that will help you recognise these types of leaders with greater efficiency.

Autocratic leadership

One of the first leaders that every intern encounters is – the autocratic leader. The characteristic of this leader is that they seldom share power, however, despite the name, this style as a whole doesn’t have to be that bad by default. A god autocratic leader may not be open for a quick brainstorming session, yet, they will value an advice that they seem fit.

The problem, however, is that they often value form over pragmatism, which means that they won’t be willing to listen to your suggestion in the hallway or even appreciate a suggestion that takes place in a semi-formal environment.

Unfortunately, some autocratic leaders (there are those who even suggest that this is the case with most of them) rule through the atmosphere of fear. The trouble with being an autocratic leader lies in the fact that you usually have no one to share this responsibility with. Sure, all the credit for a job well-done goes to them but they are also the ones that take all the blame if things go south.

Hands-off leader

One of the favourite and most efficient leader types out there are the so-called hands-off, democratic or laissez-faire leaders. The key to their leadership style relies on putting a lot of trust in your team and giving them a huge level of autonomy.

The problem with this kind of leadership lies in the fact that giving autonomy isn’t the same thing as allowing anyone around the office to do as they please. Sure, in the right environment, this kind of system works flawlessly but you would be surprised just how quickly this state of affairs slides into anarchy.

Another problem with this style lies in the fact that this style seems the easiest one to pull off without previous experience. After all, at its core, it depends on someone else doing all the work, right? Because of this, such approach is usually not recommended for all but the most experienced leaders or those managing veteran teams. For example, if he is located in Australia, it might be a good idea for a leader to look for a Sydney business coach agency, in order to learn how to enhance performance culture, without being too imposing.

Charismatic leadership

Some people have a gift to make people around them feel special and, although this can be practised, a lot of executives still fail to embrace all the benefits of charismatic leadership. First of all, a charismatic leader is passionate about what they do. After all, how can you convince your employees to show some passion about their work if you alone seem as if you’re forced to come to the office day in and day out? Even more importantly, a charismatic leader is passionate about people they work with.

The downside of this charismatic leadership lies in the fact that this passion and interest aren’t always genuine. There are always those employees who value appreciation above any other reward, yet, even they might pause in the face of a generic compliment (being named the essential member of the team). To avoid this, remember that people read your non-verbal communication as much as they listen to what you say.

Therefore, to be a charismatic leader you need to learn how to show genuine interest. One of the ways to do so is to learn how to actively listen.

Bureaucratic leadership

Finally, while this type of rule might seem similar to the autocratic, it is somewhat less flexible. In a situation where every single part of a company performs admirably, bureaucratic leadership can be incredibly effective, yet, when it comes to creativity and innovation, this is where things tend to get sloppy. On the other hand, if your main goal is ensuring that all procedures are upheld to the letter (especially important in more hazardous industries), then rigorous bureaucratic rule-abiding might be exactly what your situation needs.


Perhaps the greatest problem that young people in the business world make is turning away from bad leaders, inefficient ones or those they simply dislike, failing to realise that these people, in particular, have much to learn. Sure, everyone wants the popular boss, same as they want to become one when their time arrives. However, popular and kind leaders are not always efficient. At the end of the day, efficiency matters more, luckily, no one said that you can’t have it all. To achieve this, nonetheless, you have to be ready to accept every lesson that goes your way.

To discuss your job search, please get in touch on 0207 269 6144. You can browse roles on our job board here.