Different Management Styles


Leadership is essential to success.  Everyone knows that without organization a business will crumble.  People need direction.  They need a leader who will take them where they need to go.  “Where there is no vision the people perish” is an ancient adage of King Solomon.  A good leader is decisive.  He needs to stay cool under pressure, to accept responsibility, and to take charge.  All leaders have common characteristics, but they are all slightly different from one another.  Every leader has a different leadership style, because every leader is different.  The way one leads is influenced by his personality, his training and his experience.

Businesses are no different than any other type of organization or team.  They need leaders to coordinate all of the employees, to make strategic decisions, and to set goals for the business to accomplish.  Though all leaders are different, certain patterns can be discerned from their style.  All business leaders fall into one of four basic management style structures.  These four general management styles hold true across the board for any culture, country or business.

Autocratic Management Style

  • An autocratic manager makes decisions without asking for advice
  • He doesn’t consult others
  • Instead he serves as a type of dictator
  • Communication is one way:  the manager communicates order

For situations or events where an on the spot decision needs to be made, this type of leadership can serve a purpose, but trying to have an autocratic style of management in place for long periods of time is just going to lead to headaches for all involved.

Democratic Management Style

  • Manager is willing to share work with his staff by delegating it to get the job done
  • Employees feel involved and part of the process
  • Job performance is likely to be better than in an autocratic setting, though
  • May lead some to rely on other to bear the brunt of the work on the project
  • Employees may feel like the work is being pushed off on them because the manager doesn’t feel like doing it.

Participative Management Style

  • Consultative management style
  • Manager consults the staff.  He gets lots of feedback before making a decision
  • the process takes much longer because everyone’s opinion must be heard
  • A consensus on major decisions can result in employees buying into the vision of the company

The downside of participative management is that employees may feel their opinions are not valued or that the manager is stubborn.

Laissez Faire Management Style

  • The team is given the freedom to complete the job or tasks in any way they deem it should be done
  • Hands-off approach at the management level in terms of direction, but the manager is there to answer questions and provide guidance as needed
  • Develops individual contributors into leadership positions
  • Can lead to conflict as some employees try to assume the role as a leader in the interim or to dictate to others how their work should be done

Any of the four management styles can be effective in the right environment.  The key is to incorporate the elements from any of the styles that you need to help your business succeed.  The best managers know when and when not to delegate tasks.  Sometimes an autocratic approach is needed because the manager is the only one who can get the job done.  Other jobs are silly for the manager to handle, like paper shredding for instance.  Let’s face it: you don’t have time to manage your documents.  You are already way to busy managing people.  Fortunately Tarheel Imaging and Microfilming knows all about document management.  You might say that our management style is a slash and burn kind of management.  We cut waste and boost profits.  Do not be stubborn.  Know when you are over your head and delegate the documents to us.