Factors Influencing Leadership Styles

Businessman looking at globe
••• Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Adopting an appropriate and successful leadership style helps ensure an entrepreneur's success in small business. There are many aspects that influence the type of management that will work best for you and your company. Assess primary factors, including your own innate tendencies and the needs of your staff, when you consider various methods of leadership.


One factor determining leadership style that cannot be ignored is the personality of the individual who is in charge of a group of employees. Aligning an individual's basic nature with a particular method of management is most often successful, because the leader will be comfortable with it. For example, if the manager possesses a charming demeanor that draws people to her, she likely will adopt a charismatic style that develops a faithful staff desiring to please their leader. On the other hand, a person who is most comfortable following set protocols is likely to adopt a more traditional authoritative style in which she trains employees to carry out their duties in strict accordance with company policy.

Belief System

A manager's professional ethics is often a factor that influences his method of leadership. For example, the person who believes strongly in teamwork as the most successful approach to work often adopts a democratic leadership style. This style requires the manager to participate with employees in solving problems together. Other people who wish to instill the importance of employees learning self-management work well as transformational leaders. This type of management involves ascertaining what employees need to work on, guiding them in how to accomplish these changes and persuading their followers to commit to the process of transforming themselves as workers and the organization in general.

Company Culture

The nature of a company's culture will influence the style of leadership used in the establishment. If there is a strong culture of motivated and well-trained employees, the managers can adopt a laissez faire style. This leadership method is basically hands-off, as the manager believes her staff is capable of handling their work without an abundance of guidance. The leader is there to inspire but not to micromanage or even to spend much time overseeing projects. Other companies are dedicated to creativity as a significant factor in their success. This culture requires a creative leader who challenges employees to think in innovative ways, express their opinions and experiment with different work methods.

Employee Diversity

Small businesses are hiring a more diverse workforce than in the past. A company is likely to employ people of different races, gender, ages and cultures. Leaders must respond to this diversity with a vision for their staff and by developing a multi-cultural approach to their work. The styles of management most compatible with a diverse set of workers include a participatory method, in which the leader works closely with employees to help them assimilate and succeed. Another successful style that works with individuals of different backgrounds is servant leadership, where the manager dedicates his efforts to providing the employees with everything they need so that, in principle, these workers mature and pass along the servant attitude to other employees and to their customers.

Related Articles