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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Some Common Leadership Styles Essay Sample

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Some Common Leadership Styles Essay Sample

In the 21st century, many companies are concerned on how to order and communicate with employees. Many experts try to find the best style to be a leader because only one leadership style as in the previous era seems too simple and is not effective anymore. However, no matter what types of leader that the management chooses, they also have advantages and disadvantages that depend on each situation. Therefore, the positive and negative aspects of each leadership style and how to implement to handle circumstances in this modern world will be discussed in this essay.

First of all, the first leadership style that will be mentioned in this essay is the coercive style. It works well in contingency situations. According to Goleman.(2000), this style is forcing employees to do what their bosses say. Leaders of this structure will give clear directions and processes to their subordinates. Undoubtedly, it would seem that there are more drawbacks than benefits. Most leaders have a big gap between top levels and low levels relationship. Some henchmen might feel uncomfortable to communicate with their bosses and frustrated to do jobs because they do not have the freedom to create their own ideas as the research by Heathfield (nd) stated that “The most significant reason why workers quit their jobs is relationship with boss.”

Employees tend to resign easily if they do not appreciate their leaders. Moreover, employees tend to feel bored easily because they rarely create their ideas or share opinions. They just work like robots. As a result of that management level should consider carefully before using this way. However, there are some benefits which are the best way to command people in emergency time such as natural disaster, financial crisis or employees’ problems. (Goleman, 2000: 6). Therefore, coercive style is the most effective way to handle problems in urgent situation but do not use it for too long time.

Secondly, it cannot be denied that the democratic style is one of popular leadership styles. It usually is said that “What do you think” (Goleman, 2000: 8) or “participative leadership” (Cherry,nd). This style encourages people to participate in every stage of works. Lewin and Lippitt (1938) illustrated that democratic leaders relied on group activity, energetic teammates association, honest admire and condemnation, and a degree of companionship. All group members will make a decision together. This method gives the effective result if manager would like teams to create new ideas and take full responsibility for their works. They are motivated to share their opinions. Moreover, this approach enables teammates to work in freestyle and built quality teamwork. On the other hand, there are some weaknesses which are concerned. Not only does it cause work to be slow, it also awfully affects less skilled employees. This method gives less production if used in time-limited situation because people usually need plenty of time to work out and analyze problems. In addition, they might feel adrift and cannot understand the aims. Thus, people play a big role in this style while leader is just an advisor.

Finally, Goleman (2000:8) always demonstrated that “Try this”. Employees will get opportunity to learn how to work in step by step. In modern world, coaching style is popular; more companies tend to concentrate on developing staff more than previous decade. As Tom Peters’s study that “the best leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders”. (Benincasa cited in Peters, 2012) The good points of this approach are that company will get more quality, more intelligent employees in long term. Furthermore, all subsidiaries will take responsibility and take ownership in their works. (Goleman, 2000: 11) Anyway, this style might enable some terrible ways to company. Surely, developing resources take too long time to train staff so it is not effective in short period and this style is not work good with inactive subsidiaries. Plus, they might waste their time and money for free if their crews resign before finishing the process or during training period. Ultimately, in terms of investment, coaching style is high cost. Subordinates usually acquire the good training programmes or beneficial seminars which lead to the huge budget. Hence, coaching style is better for employee than corporation.

In terms of implementation in 21st century, Mcbean(2013) quoted that “Not everything goes as planned”. You can employ more leadership styles which rely on the situation that you meet. Moreover, I totally agree with Benincasa (2012) who stated that: “If you take two cups of authoritative leadership, one cup of democratic, coaching, and affiliative leadership, and a dash of pacesetting and coercive leadership “to taste,” and you lead based on need in a way that elevates and inspires your team, you’ve got an excellent recipe for long-term leadership success with every team in your life.” The case study of Enterprise, cars rental company in the UK, is a good example, management levels of that company use many different styles to control business and their inferiors as The Times100 (2013) mentioned that a local manager selected coercive characteristics when their cars were being in accidents and a customer needed to rent car in urgent. Local managers will order directions to quickly respond to customers who are being upset or worried as soon as possible.

By the way, Enterprise has also run “open door” strategy that gives a chance to every employee to give their opinions to their bosses directly that enables the new idea to solve problems such as changing an office layout. Increasingly, they also encourage subordinates to enhance themselves by arranging brilliant training programmes. (Enterprise,2013) Management Trainee Project is a good example, attendants study about marketing, finance, operations, sales and customer service. They will get strong background about Enterprise’s business, culture and how to deal with customers in different circumstances and manage people who are under your control. All in all, mixing leadership style in different cases can solve problems and meet company’s objective.

In conclusion, in this unpredictable time, there is no correct answer what is the best leadership approach which we should use. Every style has both of pros and cons. Nobody can tell you that you should decide to be a leader in coercive style, democratic style or coaching style. Typically, the good quality leader should not stick in only one approach. They should adjust leadership styles to fit in each situation which you are facing at that moment. You should use experience, reason and instinct to realise before choosing a style.


Benincasa,R cited in Peter,T. (2012). 6 Leadership styles, and when you should use them [online] Available from: http://www.fastcompany.com/1838481/6-leadership-styles-and-when-you-should-us

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