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The best answer to this is to say that the most effective leaders use all of the styles of leadership. A leader who is one-dimensional and can only use one style of leadership is most likely to be effective only in a limited set of circumstances. Empirical research has shown that different styles of leadership work better in different situations.
For example, when a business or an organization needs to be taken in a new direction, the best kind of leadership is visionary leadership. When an organization has been demoralized and the people in that organization do not trust one another, it is best to have an affiliative leader who can start to patch things up and get the employees to work well together again. An authoritarian style of leadership is only really effective during times of crisis.
In other words, there is no one style of leadership that is best. The most effective leaders are those who can understand which style is needed at any given time and can effectively deploy the proper style.
There are many leadership styles identified, but the most used styles are autocratic, democratic, bureaucratic and hands-off.
Though the most resented, the autocratic leadership style proves to be the most effective.
The most liked but less effective under crisis conditions leadership style proves to be democratic style, where all members of the team are involved in making decisions process. Though, this is not the right style for crisis situations, where the speed up of productivity is more important than the quality results, this style remains the most valued.
Usually, the leadership styles need to be combined and adapted to the demands of environment, organization and employees.
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