I’m often amazed at how different recruiting leaders across the country are, and how their differences lead to both high and low performing teams. Most recently I met with three Corporate heads of staffing that had very different views of their teams, and outcomes from their teams. It became very obvious after a few minutes with each leader that their style of management had a direct impact on the success of their team.

After some savvy Internet research, I found these three leadership styles that describe what I experienced. The big qyestion is: What is your leadership style?

Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic)

Authoritarian leaders, also known as autocratic leaders, generally provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. There is also a clear division between the leader and the their recruiting staff.  Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group.

Team member decision-makiwasps usually less creative under authoritarian leadership.  It is more difficult to move from an authoritarian style to a democratic style than vice versa. Abuse of this style is usually viewed as controlling, bossy, and dictatorial.

Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group.

Participative Leadership (Democratic)

Researchers found that participative leadership, also known as democratic leadership, is generally the most effective leadership style. Democratic leaders offer guidance to their recruiters, but they also participate in the group and allow input from other group members. In most cases, recruiters in this group are less productive than the members of the authoritarian group, but their contributions were of a much higher quality.

Participative leaders encourage their recruiting team to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative.

Delegative (Laissez-Faire) Leaders

Recruiters under delegative leadership, also known as laissez-fair leadership, are generally the least productive of all three groups. The recruiters in this group generally make more demands on the leader, and  show little cooperation and are often unable to work independently.

Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to their teams and leave decision-making up to group members. While this style can be effective in situations where their recruiters are highly qualified in their area of expertise, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.

What is your leadership style?

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