JANUARY 17, 2023

Common Leadership Styles that Have Missed the Mark for Leading With Humanity

There are many different leadership styles, influenced by an organization’s culture and industry, as well as the individual’s personality, background, level of training, maturity, and dozens of other factors.

When it comes to leading with humanity, some styles will serve you better than others.

When we lead with humanity, we want to help others reach their full potential and to ensure their voices are heard, no matter who they are or where they are in the organization. We know this helps a team or organization reach its potential.

Below are a few of the more common leadership styles we have come across, and our thoughts on how they relate to leading with humanity.

Democratic Leadership

Many leaders we work with have a democratic leadership approach. While this approach does give employees a voice, it’s not very efficient because consensus and voting usually don’t lead to the best business decisions.

Autocratic Leadership

We also work with autocratic leaders who dictate orders with absolute power. Usually, their organizations have the most work to do to achieve diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging because the opinion of the employees is rarely considered. Workers are expected to adhere to all decisions without question. Fear is never sustainable.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic leaders go by the books, and are often transactional, working off action and reward. This style can work with leading with humanity, but it takes a lot of political will and resources, plus it takes forever.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-faire leaders avoid hard decisions, and often hand authority over to employees. Because they don’t have intention or guts, it’s hard to lead with humanity if you’re hands off.

These are a few of the leadership styles we have seen, but there’s one more style that can have the greatest positive impact on organizations…

What’s the best leadership style for leading with humanity?

Conscious or Servant Leadership

Conscious or servant leadership is based on a desire to serve. These leaders put others first and empower others to be their authentic selves so they can perform at their best.

These are the kind of leaders you often see being active in the community or passionate about people. Others are drawn to them.

As a conscious leader, you’re constantly working to better understand your employees. You want to see them improve under your leadership and you strive to help individuals reach their goals.

Employees thrive under this type of leadership because they feel that their boss is genuinely concerned about their well-being as a person.

Leading with humanity and being a conscious/servant leader are intertwined.

True, taking the time to develop relationships is emotional work, but when you lead this way, you’re investing in people and attaching yourself to their success.

I’ve had people tell me they don’t have time for that kind of emotional tax. My response is always “You don’t have time not to.”

When you invest in knowing your employees, you find out what gets in the way of their authenticity, and therefore find out what prevents them from delivering superior results.

That’s when you really start to get a heartbeat on your team and build a powerhouse that’s working together, seeing each other as humans.

Are you ready to take your leadership to the next level?

OAIB’s Leadership Academy has helped top leaders reach their full potential.

Reach out, and we’ll let you know if it’s a fit for you.