Think back on your career arc up until this point as you, hopefully, are now considering a new path toward becoming your own boss. Did you have a lot of bosses along the way? What were they like? If you’re like most people, you’ve classified them in your memory bank among the good, the bad and the ugly.
But what you may not yet realize is that you’ve picked up on the differing managerial styles along the way. And once you do become your own boss, you’ll have to decide on your own particular managerial style. In this edition of FranNet’s blog, we’ll look at some of the most common examples that you may one day draw upon for managing your own employees.
It’s widely accepted that the two main management styles are autocratic and permissive. Or, to use pejoratives, hard-nosed and easy going. The subcategories of these two styles include even more narrowly defined managerial styles under the banners of the following:
Autocratic – All decisions flow from the top—and only the top, with little to no input from subordinates. A dictatorial operation. Works great for an NFL team, not so much at the neighborhood coffee shop.
Consultative – In a word, the consultative managerial style still relies on top-down decision making, but they do at least seek input from the workforce. Fill out this survey card once a month and we’ll let you know whether or not we’ll extend lunch breaks by 15 minutes.
Persuasive – This managerial style relies on a top lieutenant to circulate among the workforce, bending the will of employees to accept top-down decision making. Input is democratic in nature and everyone is represented. In other words, a textbook definition of labor unions.
Democratic – Exactly like it sounds—everyone gets a vote. Communication is extensive and information is free-flowing in both directions. It can be complex to set up and run effectively, but true democracy is messy. In the end, the majority always wins.
Laissez-Faire – Translated from French, it means “let do.” In this managerial style, management serves on the sidelines, sees how decision-making develops and takes a guiding role in leading the company forward. Employee ideas and creativity are allowed to flourish and managers are seen as mentors. Many new age Silicon Valley startups dial up this philosophy in the quest to develop the next best thing (read: mobile app).
Chaotic – While nobody needs a definition for this managerial style, almost everyone will declare they’ve worked in this environment before—whether actually true or not. However–it doesn’t always carry a negative connotation. Employees actually have total control over decision-making processes.
Once you’ve established your own entrepreneurial operation, you’re going to have a critical decision to make. What kind of a manager will you be? Introspection should play a large part in your plans. Think back to the many different environments in which you once worked. Where did you thrive? Where did you feel valued? Where were you ready to quit because you chaffed under the leadership of your organization?
These experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, all have value. Because you can take the lessons learned and apply them to your own managerial style. Accomplishing this task will only be to the benefit of your future employees.
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