Top 5 Types of Leadership in Management

Leadership denotes the ability to manage or lead a team or project. There are several leadership styles in management that one needs to acquire to ease work. It depends upon different situations and various personalities of people. One needs to be aware of different kinds of leadership types in management to perform well in all situations. The most impactful leadership style is individual personality and how it deals with troublesome situations.

As different situations demand skillful leaderly tricks, good leaders should learn how to evolve themselves and alter leadership styles to cope with difficulties. A leader must understand the subtle lines between each leadership style and its influence on situations. 

Read on to learn more about different leadership types in management and their pros and cons.

Types of Leadership in Management You Should Know

Leadership varies from authoritarian qualities to charismatic traits, and sometimes one needs to take the middle path to be an effective leader. An individual needs to know the assets and liabilities of various types of management styles. Here are the top 5 types of leadership in management:

1. Autocratic Leadership 

Autocratic leadership is one of the most prominent leadership styles in management. Autocratic leadership, as the term suggests, debunks a style of leadership where only one individual is accountable for making decisions apart from the decisions of other team members. The person in charge holds a monopoly over others in terms of control and decision-making. 

Though this type of leadership is effective for its high proficiency, it comes with various advantages and disadvantages. These are:


  • An individual with autocratic leadership is highly significant as they are very prompt in decision-making in times of emergencies.
  • An autocratic leader needs to be skilled and efficient.
  • By taking the responsibilities alone, they lessen the stress limit on the other employees.
  • It sometimes becomes easy for the other employees to understand the objectives just by being obliged to their autocratic leader.


  • Autocratic leadership is uncompromising. It imposes control and order. 
  • It sometimes makes other employees feel like they are devalued and unnecessary.
  • Other employees are bound to carry out the decision of an autocratic leader. Thus, they lack practical decision-making skills, and they remain hesitant.

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2. Democratic Leadership 

There is a particular disparity between autocratic leadership and democratic leadership. If autocratic leadership is considered the north pole, democratic leadership would be called the south pole. Unlike autocratic leadership, democratic leaders don’t hold a monopoly over others. They tend to discuss with the other team members and listen to their suggestions before making decisions.

Democratic leadership is very effective and more popular than autocratic leadership. Still, it has its own pros and cons.


  • A Democratic leader lets other employees become capable of making decisions or helping in making decisions. Thus, they gradually learn the skills of effective leadership and decision-making.
  • The lower-level employees can explore their creative skills.
  • The lower-level employees feel valued and effective. 
  •   It helps create a cordial bond and an effective work environment in the workplace.


  • It is sometimes time-consuming to make decisions together and can lead to some troubles in problem-solving.
  • The decisions, sometimes, become inefficient as they come from various individuals.

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3. Laissez-faire Leadership

Another impactful leadership style in management is none other than laissez-faire leadership. In laissez-faire leadership, leaders tend to delegate tasks to their team members without any strict supervision. Under this leadership, lower-level employees get the maximum opportunities to explore their creativity at a high rate and accomplish goals. The leaders don’t have to micromanage the employees at the grassroots level. This style of leadership is very hands-off kind. 

Apart from its slick characteristics, laissez-faire leadership has its dual facets of pros and cons.


  • This leadership is responsible for including efficient and creative individuals who are very trustworthy people.
  • Due to a less strict work environment, employees feel confident and valued.
  • Though the employees are entrusted with responsibilities, the leaders take responsibility when needed.
  • This leadership motivates the employees to excel in their job.


  • Though it is helpful for the employees, it might be different for the apprentices who recently joined the company.
  • Sometimes no official accountability creates confusion in the workplace as there is no proper leader as such.
  • This leadership lacks proper work ethics and structure, which is very effective in any working project.

4. Coaching Leadership

Apart from democratic leadership and laissez-faire leadership, another type of leadership is coaching leadership, which is equally remarkable in the case of management style. Coaching leadership is a kind of bridge metaphor in management style, acting between democratic and laissez-faire leadership. A coaching leader believes in bringing the best quality of the employees to the fore. They are neither very critical about observing employees like democratic leaders nor totally carefree like laissez-faire leaders. 

Like other leadership styles, coaching leadership also has its own benefits and flaws. 


  • Coaching leaders help prepare the employees’ future by guiding them through difficulties and decision-making.
  • They can easily find the strength and potential of any employee and make them work on their potential.
  • They enable growth and effective thinking.
  • They frequently give effective feedback, which helps the employees to work effortlessly.


  • Coaching leadership often fails to make necessary decisions at the proper time due to its constructive nature.
  • Coaching leadership might not be effective in emergencies or in high-pressure situations where prompt decision-making is needed.

5. Transactional Leadership

Among various types of management styles, the most prominent and widely recognized style is transactional leadership. It is also famously known as managerial leadership. A transactional leader focuses mainly on perfection-based performance and higher goals. In order to achieve high-level goals, these types of leaders offer incentives for different roles the employees play. The central provision of this leadership is that leaders reward their employees with certain incentives when they achieve specific goals and also punish them when they fail to maintain their performance within the due deadline.

Apart from its lucrative quality, transactional leadership nurtures its fors and againsts.


  • It sets very straightforward objectives and rules to which the employees are bound to adhere.
  • It is discipline-oriented leadership.
  • It helps in achieving higher goals.
  • It motivates the employees by reward and gainings.


  • It lets the employees only do the required work. They don’t push themselves to explore their creativity.
  • There is a stressful environment in the workplace due to the pressure of deadlines and punishment. 

Why is leadership so important?

In this fast-forwarding modern age, it is very necessary to adopt proper skills of personality which lead to great leadership. Leadership skills enable an individual not only to excel in his job but also to guide his team effectively and to become a successful manager.

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Hope this article with detailed descriptions of different types of leadership in management serves you well to quench your queries. If you want to learn more about various types of management styles, get yourself enrolled in the best MBA course offered by upGrad. MBA has far-sighted consequences as it helps in enhancing organizational skills that are essentially required to maintain and balance a workplace at all levels. If you are searching for the right place to explore these and many more invaluable skills, the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course offered by UpGrad can be the right choice! 

Can leadership be influential?

Yes, leadership influences people very much. Authoritative one tends to be less cordial or less flexible about delegating work to the employees. One who is, to say, more flexible about coaching people and guiding them tends to be more affirming.

What is the variety of leadership styles?

There are various leadership styles apart from these five styles mentioned beforehand according to needs, nature, and personality - Visionary, charismatic, transformational, bureaucratic, pacesetter, servant, and many more.

What is the most effective leadership style?

No particular leadership style is perfect on its own. You need to adjust your style according to the situation, or you might be a combined version of the traits of each leadership style.

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