Leadership - But How!?

Everyone leads differently. What is your management style?

4 min read
Leadership - But How!?

Many specialists who eventually take on a managerial role are initially overwhelmed by the new situation. Depending on the corporate philosophy, your own personality and your own values, there are different things that are important in the new job.

Of course, employee satisfaction should not be neglected either. Most employees quit because of their manager's behavior . But you don't want good people to leave the team because of you. Your employees are the reason the company is successful!

With this knowledge, let's take a look at what makes a good manager and what skills they should have. We also examine the four classic leadership styles and what advantages and disadvantages they have. This gives you a little orientation and the opportunity to make targeted adjustments when things get out of hand.

What is a leadership style?

he behavior of a manager towards his employees as well as the way in which managerial tasks are carried out and managerial competencies are used is referred to as leadership style.

Management Tasks

Some of the core responsibilities of a leader are:

  • Defining goals : Setting measurable goals together with the employees (e.g. using the SMART formula) and providing resources that are required by the employees (time, budget, work equipment, ....)
  • Enable Goal Achievement : Remove obstacles that prevent employees from achieving goals
  • Making decisions : Personnel, organizational and/or process decisions of a higher nature must be made by the manager. Depending on the topic, employees can be brought in as consultants
  • Encourage and develop employees: Support the employee as a mentor and coach, strengthen and expand skills, motivation, praise and recognition, convey the meaning of his work to the employee

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are skills and characteristics that are advantageous when exercising a leadership position. These include e.g.

Kurt Lewin's 4 leadership styles

The psychologist Kurt Lewin defined the following four classic leadership styles:

  • laissez faire
  • charitable
  • authoritarian
  • cooperative
Abbildung: Die 4 F├╝hrungsstile nach Kurt Lewin

The Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

Laissez-faire means "don't worry about it". As the name suggests, this management style focuses on the individual freedom and independence of the employees.

The advantage of this management style is that the employees make all decisions themselves and can contribute and develop their individual strengths and interests.

The disadvantage of this management style is that managers show little or no interest, if at all, in the fulfillment of tasks and in the employees themselves. Without praise and recognition, however, most people quickly lose motivation, which means that performance also decreases. This may remain unrecognized for a long time due to the manager's lack of sympathy.

It has been shown that employees without real leadership often lose their orientation over time and feel insecure. Then most people want more leadership rather than less.



+ Personal freedom

+ Living out individual strengths and interests

- Poor performance may not be recognized until late

- Disorientation can arise

- There is no praise or recognition

The Charitable Management Style

With this management style, the focus is on the employees. You will be encouraged and supported individually. There is a risk that many of the tasks will be taken over by the manager himself, leaving them with less capacity for their actual tasks.

A laissez-fair leadership style often leads to a charitable leadership style after poor performance has been identified.



+ Individual promotion and development

- Result orientation moves into the background

- Managers may do a lot themselves that the employee should actually do

The Authoritarian Leadership Style

This style of leadership focuses on performance. There is little or no interest in the employees. All activities and processes are specified.

The advantage of this leadership style is that tasks are processed and instructions implemented. However, the personal development, independent thinking and creative development of employees is suppressed, making innovation difficult.

This management style is often found in traditional companies.



+ Result orientation

+ Quick decisions

- There is no room for creativity and innovation

The Collaborative Leadership Style

The cooperative management style is a mixture of performance and employee orientation. Employees are included in decision-making processes and individually supported. There is transparency about the expectations placed on the employees and also about the expectations that the employees have of their workplace and the manager.

The disadvantage of this style of leadership can be that making decisions can take more time, since many different views may come together.



+ Expectations are transparent

+ Personal freedom within a set framework

+ Innovation and creative ideas are encouraged

- Decisions may take more time


There is no such thing as the perfect leadership style. Depending on the situation, however, there is the right leadership style. In this article we have dealt with the classic leadership styles. There are other management styles and mixed forms that we have not discussed in this article.

The cooperative style of leadership is desirable because, if implemented correctly, it has the most advantages for the manager and the employees. If quick decisions have to be made, however, the manager should step in and make a decision that is binding and transparent for everyone.

In order not to have to go through the entire process of laissez-faire too cooperatively, the expectations of the manager towards the employee and also the expectations of the employee towards the manager should be clarified as early as possible.

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