Leadership Styles (Public Services)

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LEADERSHIP STYLES Authoritarian This is a direct leadership style where, without team negotiation or explanation, the leader will give orders that the team are expected to obey. An authoritarian style is used when the leader wants as much power and decision making control as possible. The team are usually working to a tight deadline and will have no personal relationship with the leader. The members of the team should be familiar with being led by an authoritarian leader and should be well motivated. The army would use this style of leadership when having to make quick life-or-death decisions. Leaders are expected to motivate and care for those they command, and understand soldiering. Authoritarian leaders may also hold briefings as meetings. The police may also use an authoritarian approach of leadership, but usually only in emergency situations. For example; operations such as drug raids are planned democratically beforehand, but when the plan is put into practice or action the leader will be authoritarian as there is no time for discussion. Authoritarian leaders maintain order and discipline, making this style effective. The style also makes decision making and arrangement quick and efficient, and helps large scale co-ordination. The down side to using this leadership type is that the team don’t develop initiative and less responsibility for their actions as they rely on the leader. There is usually a low staff morale, meaning poor performance and high staff turnover. Also, the team may feel anger and resentfulness from being ordered about, meaning an authoritarian style of leadership may not be effective. An authoritarian style is slightly similar to a democratic leadership style as the leader maintains control. It is also similar to transactional style as it is a direct approach. This style is the opposite to laissez-faire where the leader trusts the
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