Four Types Secular Leadership

Type One Autocratic

We will look at four types of leadership. The first is that of Autocratic or Authoritarian leaders. This leader type is used to having his own way.  Rarely does he seek input from others.

He dictates what he wants done and he expects to be obeyed without question or hesitation. He is intolerant of any resistance. He sets goals and expects others to make it happen and uses punishment when things fail.

He is intolerant of any member who is not fully in line with what he desires. He is resistant to suggestions on ways to improve a process or procedure. For him compliance and obedience are primary responses to those under him. Forgiveness for failure is out of the question.

Nest post; we will look at two sub-types in this category: positive and negative leaders. These sub-types are less dictatorial, but use minor variations of autocratic leadership.

Autocratic Sub-Types

The autocratic leadership sub-types are positive or negative leaders. A police officer who stops you and gives you a ticket is an example of an autocratic leader. He is enforcing the law and expects obedience and failure will usually cost you money. His leadership is given to him under force of law.

Positive leadership is one who will model the right kind of positive action. He will expect you to follow his example and help produce positive results for what he wants done. He will normally engender high self esteem and positive emotional output. He will many times be interested in his or her employees’ development and an interest in a positive bottom line. The positive leader will exhibit a very high sense of integrity.

Negative leadership will usually surface and exhibit itself with eroding morale and a lower level of employee confidence. His leadership will make the workday or tasks for employees unbearable. It impacts productivity and will normally show itself in loss of customer satisfaction. The quicker the negative leader is replaced, the less will be the impact of bad work environment. The negative leader rarely motivates or creates a sustainable workplace surrounding.

Type Two Democratic

The next leadership style is Democratic or Participative leadership. This leader will facilitate the conversation. He will encourage people to share their ideas.

In this type of leadership, the leader will then synthesize all of the available information into the best possible choice and bring that concept back to the group for a decision and implementation. He must be able to communicate the choices back to the group and facilitate that information to the group to bring unity for the plan that is chosen.

A significant role for the Democratic leader is to ensure that democratic deliberation takes place when group decisions are made. The function of the Democratic leader is to serve as mediator and facilitator for the group to ensure that all voices are heard. He will then delegate responsibility among members to ensure clear and concise action plans.

Type Three Laissez-faire

A third leadership style is called Laissez-faire or free-rein. This leadership style can be defined as the absence of leadership or as some have defined it: a non-authoritarian leadership style. It seems to be most effective when group members are highly skilled and self-motivated to accomplish an end goal.

Kurt Lewin is often credited with developing the concept of laissez-faire leadership. He was one of the first experts to research group dynamics and organizational psychology. He devised this method from his study of social psychology.  This leadership style is often dismissed as ineffective and can lead to poor group outcomes.

Those who support this leadership style say it produces good results with highly motivated groups. The key component in this leadership style is high self-motivation. Under the right conditions it can produce excellent results. This leader must have keen insight into creating a charged environment for high-skilled self-motivators.

Type Three Paternalistic

The last leadership style is Paternalistic leadership. It is a managerial approach that involves a dominant authority figure who acts as a patriarch or matriarch and treats employees and partners as though they are members of a large, extended family. In exchange, the leader expects loyalty and trust from employees, as well as obedience.

Paternalism is the interference with the liberty or autonomy of another person, with the intent of promoting good or preventing harm to that person. Examples of paternalism in everyday life are laws which require seat belts, wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle, and banning certain drugs.

Paternalism is action that limits a person’s or group’s liberty or autonomy and is intended to promote their own good. Paternalism can also imply that the behavior is against or regardless of the will of a person, or also that the behavior expresses an attitude of superiority.  This leadership style might be appropriate where those in the group are fearful or insecure about what they are to do and when. Some businesses evolve from this type of leadership into an authoritative style.

We will next explore the qualities of a good leader.

Leader Qualities

Secular Leadership Main