Leaders’ actions inform decisions, strategy settings, priority setting, and vision casting in an organization or an area of interest for desired outcomes and results. With various research findings unanimously concurring on the roles of a leader via various leadership styles, effective leadership has also been reported as the missing link for leadership activities in both corporate and individual levels. In this regard, leadership styles drawn from the emotional intelligence perspective have been outlined to include the democratic, coaching, affiliate, coercive, pacesetting, and authoritative leadership styles. Individually, I identify more with the democratic leadership style on which this study is based.
Leadership is the trademark for the success of many organizations and nations across the globe. With influential leaders, a people’s lifestyle and living conditions change for the better, whereas, without good leadership, everything scatters everywhere in chaos and malfunctions (Caillier, 2020). A confirmation of the sentiments by the famous author and motivator John Maxwell who says and believes that everything rises and falls with leadership (Maxwell, 2020). The democratic leadership style best represents my leadership style because I believe in seeking other people’s opinions over a matter before coming to an effective conclusion.
Democratic Leadership Style
The Democratic leadership style is founded on collaboration, teamwork, and inter-professional or inter-team communication that allows people to voice their opinions and ideas to inform the final decisions in a situation (Schein & Schein, 2018). In the illustration by Daniel Goleman of democratic leaders, Sister Mary obeyed her authorities’ orders. However, she executed the order in a democratic way by involving all the stakeholders in decision making and in concluding.
Why Democratic Leadership is My Best Style
I consider the democratic leadership style my best leadership style because collective decision-making is critical in this leadership style (Hilton, Arkorful, & Martins, 2021). As a leader, it is not given that my ideas and suggestions will be the reason for success in an endeavor. Sometimes, there may be team members who may not be fortunate enough to hold the leadership position, and this does not make them any less of leaders in and of themselves. Therefore, allowing the team members to grasp an organization’s vision to the point of providing solutions freely to daily problems in the organization could be critical in realizing cutting-edge success and achieving the organizations’ goals. Further, the democratic leadership style is best because it builds the necessary trust, confidence, and responsibility required to forge an organization ahead (Goleman, 2017). Therefore, democratic leadership for me goes beyond being a leadership style to being a chance to show respect and to earn loyalty from subordinates and members of a team.
Instances Where Democratic Leadership Worked
In my earlier days as a school soccer captain, decision-making was one of my biggest problems because I was not one of the top scorers of the school team. Working with more talented players meant respecting them but also meant rivalry amongst team members owing to envy. At one time, the team had struggled to make it to the next championship level and the coach became furious over our dismal performance during the season. As the team’s captain, I resorted to finding a solution by engaging the team in a discussion over the best way to get back to our best performance. To my surprise, over half of the team members, when given a chance to speak, pointed out the various reasons for underperformance, and some verballed out great insights into possible solutions. The next day I met up with the coach and presented the grievances, which included pressure on the players by coaching staff. The results in the next game were just astounding as the team espoused their best game and ended up second place with one point less than the winning team. In this regard, I consider the democratic leadership style as the leadership action that saved the day for me as the captain of the school soccer team.
Instances When Democratic Leadership Did Not Work
Whereas I vouch for the democratic leadership style, it has not worked so well for me in other instances. At one time, my younger brother and I were left home alone as our parents had to travel out of town for business meetings and conventions. My younger brother has always been my parent’s favorite, so I did not want him to feel lonely and uncared for while our parents were away. To kill the boredom at home, I asked my brother to suggest an activity that we could engage in. He had previously heard of monster movies but had never watched one, and my parents always forbade us from watching scary movies. To be all-inclusive in the decision-making process, I indulged my younger brother by allowing him to watch a monster movie that he had suggested. The results were catastrophic for the rest of the night. He ended up crying and feeling scared of anything and everything. He forced me to stay awake the whole night to keep away his imaginary monsters. As the bigger person in the room, my parents had trusted me with the house’s leadership, including taking care of my younger brother. However, I failed to execute effective leadership by allowing my brother’s decisions to haunt both of us.
Regardless of the setbacks I have registered with democratic leadership, I still embrace this leadership approach. It has served me well in many more instances than when it has not. However, I aspire to achieve an authoritative leadership style in my leadership journey as often things do not work for the democratic leader mainly. After all, the team is incompetent or relies on traditional ways of achieving results and is limited to adopting new trends.
As in the case of Tom and his pizza company’s performance, success came as a result of shifting to the authoritative style of leadership; this challenged the business as usual mode of operating and allowed for new perspectives in increasing the company’s success within weeks. I am a result-oriented person who sometimes needs streamlined strategies for realizing results and not repetitive, less effective periodic meetings. Democratic leadership style appeals to me in many ways because I believe that the solution to the problems the world faces daily is people’s brains. As a visionary leader, the authoritative leadership style blends well with my democratic leadership approach in realizing my vision. It is important to note that in every human being out there is a leader. Despite positional leadership being the widely acclaimed leadership style, everyone can contribute to the success and better outcomes of a situation if given the chance.
Caillier, J. G. (2020). Testing the influence of autocratic leadership, democratic leadership, and public service motivation on citizen ratings of an agency head’s performance. Public Performance & Management Review, 43(4), 918-941. Web.
Goleman, D. (2017). Leadership that gets results (Harvard business review classics). Harvard Business Press.
Hilton, S. K., Arkorful, H., & Martins, A. (2021). Democratic leadership and organizational performance: the moderating effect of contingent reward. Management Research Review. Web.
Maxwell, J. C. (2020). Leadershift. Findaway World, LLC.
Schein, E. H., & Schein, P. A. (2018). Humble leadership: The power of relationships, openness, and trust. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.