Bolg 3: Most effective leadership style to managing the work of subordinates

This blog discuss about the most effective leadership and management styles and approaches.

When we talk about how to manage a team or group, the first thing need to be understood is the relationship between leadership and management. Management is set to achieve organizational objective. Laurie identified that Leadership often associated with the positive emotion and behavior of followers. Leadership is not a part of job but a quality that can be brought to a job (Belbin). Kent was adapted that ‘managers do the things right’, but ‘leaders do the right thing’. ‘Managing is an authority relationship’, but ‘leading is an influence relationship’. Managing creates stability, but ‘leading creates change’. There still existing many different views about leadership and management, but how to being a ‘leader’ is what we need to learn.

Every organization needs a leader to encourage and influence the subordinates to have motivation to achieve their common goals. There are some debates about ‘leaders are born or made? To some extent, the ability of great leadership is born. However, learning how to be an effective manager is essential for everyone who wants to lead diverse team in current world.

Due to the complex and variable nature of workplace, managers no longer can depend on the use of their position in hierarchical structure. In order to ensure get the best result from subordinates the managers need to find out the suitable personal style to encourage and communicate with their subordinates. Leadership style is the way that managers behave to members of the group. The broad framework of leadership style which is focus on power includes three simplified heading, they are Authoritarian Style, Democratic Style and Laissez-faire Style.

The Authoritarian Style refers to the power of manager and the manager guide the interactions of the group. The manager alone making decision and controls anything within the group.

The Democratic Style focus of power is more with the group as a whole. Manager is more part of group and leadership functions are share with group members. This leadership style allows subordinates participate in decision-making and other procedures within the group and it obtain better interaction in the group. For example, there is a group presentation within the class. Team leader is a part of team, in this situation; democratic style is easy to be seen in the leadership because everyone within the group expects the best result of this presentation. So that team-leader ask each of team members participate in the discussion to contribute ideas and input to divide tasks and allow them work by their ways to achieve common objectives.

A laissez-faire Style is manager allows group members working on his or her own and manager makes decisions to cross the focus of power to subordinates. They can free to do as the way they think best. Group members are left to make the decision without manager. It is more like a non-style leadership.

This framework is important to help managers understand the advantages and disadvantages of each style. The most effective leadership is use the distinct leadership in the right measure at just the right time. The authoritarian style can be the most effective and can motivate and influence subordinates to achieve the goals of the group, but it occurs overbearing. The democratic style is positive to encourage input from group members and support build consensus through give a part of power to subordinates. The laisses-faire style is the least frequently used leadership style, but it helps subordinates identify their strengths and willingness to achieve long-term goals (Goleman).

Based on this framework managers could recognize their own natural leadership style and adapt to their own situation. However, there is no one best form of leadership. An organization may exist different leadership style because different managers fulfill the functions of leadership. Subordinates may expect a different leadership style from managers according to the contingencies of the situation.

In order to ensure success managers need to consider their own characteristics, the group and the work environment to find out the most effective and appropriate leadership style for their own organization. Managers should use different leadership styles in different situations and use the right style for the right situation.


Mullins, Laurie J. Management and organisational behaviour. Pearson Education, 2007.

Dulewicz, Victor. “A validation of Belbin’s team roles from 16PF and OPQ using bosses’ ratings of competence.” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 68.2 (1995): 81-99.

Kent, T. W. (2005). Leading and managing: it takes two to tango. Management Decision, 43(7/8), 1010-1017.

Goleman, Daniel, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee. Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Harvard Business Press, 2013.



  1. woleile · March 10, 2015

    I personally prefer democratic style.


  2. leila chen · March 12, 2015

    I agree with that you presented that there is no the best management approach for organisation


  3. Juan · March 13, 2015

    Yes, different situation have to use different approach to manage


  4. paul · March 13, 2015

    if i want to become a good leader, i need to do the right thing, hahaha


    • culcchenx64 · March 14, 2015

      Do the right things is necessary for a ethical leader. You have to do that.


  5. Charlie · March 14, 2015

    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of how different leadership styles!


  6. sarah · March 15, 2015

    Really interesting and some great tips too 😉


  7. sarah · April 5, 2015

    spectacular thinking! great work!


  8. O'HARE · April 5, 2015

    Thanks for introducing us to your work… I found this information very interesting and helpful as I searched for those information.


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