There are different leadership styles out there. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, knowing the different styles can help you become a better and successful leader.

In some point in time, most of us will find ourselves needing to take on some kind of leadership role. There are leadership positions almost in any type of organization, hobby, religion, and politics. During your experiences in life, you will come across many different people who practice different leadership styles.

Kurt Lewin, a famous psychologist, categorized leadership into three basic styles. Since 1939 when he identified these three styles, other types of leadership have been established. Lewin recognized that good leaders know how to use a style or a combination of a couple of styles to apply to their situation.

Autocratic leadership is the first style that Lewin categorized. This is a dictator style of leading. One person makes all the decisions and likes it that way. This type of leadership promotes clear expectations and routine.

This style also is one that causes a lot of unhappy subordinates. Autocratic leaders normally aren't very creative and they demand obedience.

Autocratic leadership is best used when the group or team member doesn't know anything about the procedure or process of what you are trying to accomplish. It also works well in situations where there isn't a lot of need for input.

The Democratic leader, on the other hand, likes to involve others. This is usually known as the most effective style of leadership.

Not only the leader, but team members and employees feel like they can make a contribution in the decision-making process. This helps everyone to feel appreciated and satisfied.

Leaders who use this style try to act more as a guide than a boss. They will use discussion to look for suggestions or ideas. Even though the leader has the final say, the team will usually feel that they are included in the whole process.

Followers usually are more loyal in this type of situation because they have a personal stake in the outcomes. Overall, this style benefits everyone who is involved.

The third style that Lewin categorized is called the Delegative-Free Rein style. This type of leadership style focuses on understanding priorities and delegating the tasks. The leader in this situation will ask others to even make decisions, but will take on all final responsibilities.

This leadership style works best when groups or team members know what they are doing. In situations where individuals are highly motivated and well-trained, this is a style worth looking into.

Depending on what kind of situation you are in, it is a good idea to look into the different leadership styles to see what would work best for you and your team.

Charismatic Leadership

Autocratic Leadership Theories

Army Leadership Theories