As a business owner or manager, you have your own personal leadership style. Leadership styles vary in their level of effectiveness depending on the situation and its urgency. Few leaders use one style to the exclusion of all others; most use a blend. However, your primary style as an owner or executive manager affects your organization and sets the tone for the company's culture. The collegial style focuses on sharing common goals and working as a team.

Leadership Styles

An owner or manager should understand leadership styles and how they affect employee morale and company goal achievement. Understanding your personal leadership style helps you identify areas you need to strengthen and builds your confidence as a leader. Every person has strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what yours are and how they color your leadership style can increase your effectiveness. Recognizing your personal style can also aid you in knowing when to step aside and let someone else lead, even if only for a meeting. Knowing when to follow is a sign of a good leader.

Collegial Defined

A collegial leader shares power and authority equally among a group of colleagues. A collegial style is characterized by an atmosphere where you and your personnel all work together as a team to solve problems. As the head of the company, you should take actions that cause employees to feel comfortable sharing divergent views. Employees collaborate to identify, assess and solve problems in ways that avoid conflict.


As a leader who uses the collegial style, you exhibit certain characteristics. You strive to build a team that works well together and supports one another professionally. You listen to and encourage different views and identify and support the parts of divergent viewpoints that help the company achieve its goals. You emphasize the responsibility of the group as a whole in attaining corporate goals. Personally, as a collegial leader, you enjoy the challenge of encouraging personnel and interacting with them on a regular basis to make sound decisions.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One advantage of embracing a collegial leadership style is that your company typically experiences high employee morale and provides a satisfying and supportive work environment. One disadvantage is that it may take more time and effort to make decisions and cultivate this style -- time that you as a leader could use to do something else. In addition, you must hire people with a tendency to work well together. If you hire combative, authoritative or highly competitive individuals, it can take significantly more time and effort to accomplish your objectives with this leadership style.