Explain the concept of leadership and its various styles

Leadership is the process of influencing behaviour of the people so that they strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the achievement of group goals. The various leadership styles are:

1. Autocratic Leadership or Authoritarian Leadership: The autocratic leadership style allows managers to make decisions alone without the input of others. Managers possess total authority and impose their will on the employees. No one challenges the decisions of autocratic leaders. An autocratic leader centralizes power and decisionmaking in himself. He gives orders, assigns tasks and duties without consulting the employees. In this style of leadership, a leader has complete command and hold over their employees/team. The team cannot put forward their views even if they are best for the teams or organisational interests.

2. Democratic Leadership or Participative Leadership: Participative or Democratic Leaders decentralise authority. It is characterised by consultation with the subordinates and their participation in the formulation of plans and policies. He encourages people participation in decision-making process.

3. Laissez Faire or Free-rein Leadership: The laissez faire or non-interfering type of leader passes on the responsibility for decision-making to his subordinates and takes a minimum of initiative in the administration. He gives no direction and allows the group to establish its own goals and work out its own problems. The leader plays only a minor role. His idea is that each member of the group when left to himself will put forth his best effort and the maximum results can be achieved in this way.

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