Daniel Goleman describes six leadership styles: Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Coaching. He asserts, "Leaders who have mastered four or more styles, especially the Authoritative, Democratic, Affiliative and Coaching styles, have the best climate and business performance.
COERCIVE LEADER always demands immediate compliance, they request their subordinates to do what they tell them. The subordinates are drove to achieve, initiative and self-control. The leadership style is suitable in a crisis, to kick start a turnaround, or with problem employees. For long term, it caused a negative morale and working atmosphere. Also, this kind of leadership would cause a high risk in business because the leader usually can not accept different idea or comment from the colleagues or underlings.
AUTHORITATIVE LEADER mobilizes people toward a vision, they always say "Come with me". They shown self-confidence, acted as change catalyst in revolution. When changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed, authoritative leader is the best one to lead for changes. This kind of leadership is strongly positive in working atmosphere and their subordinates are willing to follow the leaders with confidence.
AFFILIATIVE LEADER creates harmony and builds emotional bonds. They are good in building relationships in working environment, also can setup a good communication channel between the subordinates. In the situation for healing rifts in a team or to motivate people during stressful circumstances, this kind of leader would be the best choice. This is also making a positive working climate.
DEMOCRATIC LEADER forges consensus through participation. We lalways hear the leader said "What do you think?". This kind of leader shown us collaboration, team leadership and also good in communication. In situation to build buy-in or consensus, or to get input from valuable employees, the leader becomes the motivator for the team. This is also making a positive working climate.
PACESETTING LEADER sets high standards for performance. Maxim from them is "Do as I do, or I am your model." They are conscientiousness, drive to achieve and initiative. To get quick results from a highly motivated and competent team is need the kind of leader. However, they would cause a negative working atmosphere for the team because lack of suggestion system and not encourage of comment from subordinates.
COACHING LEADER develops people for the future. We always hear they say "Try this." to encourage the others to strengthen. The leader is good in developing others, empathy and self-awareness. To help an employee improve performance or develop long-term strengths is suitable for this kind of leader. Positive working environment came from this kind of leadership.
The different characteristics of leadership are just like the different numbers of golf club. It is hard to say which kind of leadership is the best or worst. When we implement the lean transformation, we should select the suitable kind of leadership to lead the Kaizen according to the change of company culture. A trope in golf, during we just start to implement lean, we need the immediately culture change in a big jump. We need to use the coercive leadership to lead just like we use the club in number "0" for issueing ball to more than 200 yards. During the culture is improved, we need to motivate the member to improve by themselves. We can use coaching leadership to lead by encourage for trial, just like we use club of number "P" (putter) to put the ball close to the hole around 50 yards.
The important factor is how to select the suitable leadership style for different period and change selectively. In simply say, the different leadership styles like our set of golf club. Select the club in right time. How many clubs do you have right now? Or, actually you don't know what is the number of club you are using?