Leadership style affects subordinates by influencing the way the organization makes decisions, manages deadlines, promotes creativity and innovation, and deals with change. According to management experts Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, a successful leader chooses his leadership style based on the skill level of his employees and the type of task. By acknowledging that your actions directly impact your subordinates, you can examine your own behavior and adjust it to the needs of the whole organization for positive results.


If your employees lack skills and experience, choosing an autocratic leadership style allows you to make decisions without their input and direct work efficiently. Using this style with experienced employees, however, typically produces poor results. Autocratic leaders who issue commands and refuse to acknowledge the value of their employees tend to disenfranchise employees, resulting in lower job satisfaction, poor morale and diminished productivity. Effective leaders assess the effect of their actions before making decisions.


Using the democratic leadership style, you listen to your employees’ feedback. When your team misses deadlines, using this type of leadership allows you to gather input from employees about the problem and include them in an action plan to rectify the situation. Using the pace-setting leadership style, you set lofty to goals to motivate hard work. The way you direct your subordinates' achievement directly affects their behavior. By not tolerating poor performance with autocratic commands, you get short-term results, but when you use this style for long periods, burnout typically occurs.


If you want to foster creativity and innovation, using the affiliative leadership style typically results in the most positive results. An affiliative leader focuses on improving collaboration and cooperation. Using the coaching style, you also can encourage people to try new ideas and examine alternatives to problems. For example, run brainstorming sessions to discuss potential new markets, new ways of building customer loyalty and options for solving common complaints. You might come up with new solutions, such as using social media technology to connect customers to each other for troubleshooting.


When your company experiences change, adopting a visionary leadership style helps subordinates make the transition to a new way of working. According to management expert John Kotter, effective leaders communicate the urgency for change, build a team to manage the change, create a strategy for achieving the change, communicate the vision, remove obstacles and resistance, create short-term success stories, build on the initial changes and ensure the changes take hold. When you don’t make the effort to explain change and manage carefully, employees get distracted by rumor and conjecture. This typically negatively impacts productivity.