We can't know with 100% certainty which is the best leadership style! Knowing which of the style is the most appropriate and meaningful is a question that many would love to have the answer to. But the reality is that there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. If there was, you probably wouldn't be reading this article as you would more than likely have the answer already! The fact that you are reading this article is basically a safe indication that you've somehow not really internalized this reality.
As a result, it is time to once and for all for you to be provided with the best answer that will satisfy your thirst of understanding of what the best style of leadership is.
Ironically, I would say all of them! The most important part of being an authentic leader is to develop your ability to adapt your style to the situation as well as the people that you are leading in a manner that will provide you and by extension your organization and the people within it, the results that they are seeking.
For example, leadership literature should favor an autocratic style when dealing with a situation in which the leader is the subject expert, which, would be logical. But what would happen if you weren't the only subject expert in the room? You guessed it; you would probably alienate the other subject experts! But here is the nuance, whether or not the other(s) are really subject experts doesn't matter, the fact that they think of themselves in that way is the important aspect!
Therefore, the best style would be one that requires one's full understanding of the different leadership styles, their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, in order to master the art of leadership we need to thoroughly understand human behavior, especially our own. Then when you are putting your combination of knowledge into practice, you need to be flexible and learn to constantly learn to use your own best judgment.
Lastly, fine-tune your approach as new information on the situation or the mental status of your employees are being brought to light.
Leaders are constantly seeking to exchange their knowledge, because that's how we increase our leadership skills.
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