Most personal leadership styles have both advantages and drawbacks. If you know your leadership style, you can use its advantages to maximize the results that employees achieve. You can also make adjustments to compensate for the drawbacks of your leadership style. The ultimate goal is to make the environment conducive for all so that you succeed as a leader and employees enjoy working for you.

Democratic Style

A democratic leader is committed to sharing some authority with employees. She assigns projects and gives her employees input into how a project will be implemented. Each person's ideas are important to this leader. When you know this is your style, you can create teams and give them a decision-making process to follow. Two big drawbacks could affect your leadership. First, you may share too much authority; some situations require you to take control of the team, especially when there are too many conflicting perspectives among team members. Second, sharing authority means giving up some control, but you can compensate by building accountability into the team. It's important to hold the group responsible for end results and to hold team members responsible for individual contributions.

Managerial Style

A business owner with a managerial style creates an orderly system for accomplishing work. She focuses on making decisions about how to best utilize resources, including how to manage employee work schedules, contracts with suppliers, operating budgets and customer relationships. She only gets involved with problems with employees if they disrupt her orderly system. You can manage in this way, but don't forget to monitor how employees are interacting and assess the general state of staff morale. It's important to demonstrate empathy when interacting with employees, especially when revealing your decisions.

Laissez-Faire Style

A person who supervises with a laissez-faire style values a hands-off approach. She is comfortable with individuals or teams performing their own work with little supervision. Don't forget to be available and accessible to teams even if you prefer this approach. It's important to establish regular times when teams will discuss their problems and results with you. You need to know when they aren't performing well as a team. You can also support them by working with employees who need extra help. Individuals and teams want to know which kinds of decisions require your approval and what your vision is for the company.

Autocratic Style

An autocratic leader makes quick decisions and expects her orders to be followed. She rules by power of personality. In a small business, she might also closely supervise employee performance, and, at times, she could be perceived as a micromanager. If you use this style, your employees always know what must be done and where you stand on important issues. However, be careful that your orders are well received and understood. Sometimes, a strong leader must take a softer approach, taking time to listen to employees' concerns. Also, it's important to get input into some decisions, assign some team projects and be receptive to innovations that might improve your business. Finally, an autocratic leader is a tower of strength. It's best to avoid complaining in front of employees because it would undermine your show of strength.