Managing Different Leadership Styles Within Your Chapter

As a new school year begins, PRSSA’s 312 Chapters in the United States and one in Argentina will have to adjust to new leadership, new visions and new expectations. Whether Chapter President, executive board member or regular member, you will face a learning curve figuring out each person’s leadership style, especially when planning events, hosting meetings and interacting with professionals. Recognizing these differences from the beginning will help you have a smoother transition and begin the semester with a bang.

There are many tests to determine a person’s leadership style. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator breaks a person’s personality into four characteristics: extrovert/introvert, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling and judgment/perception. By understanding these basic traits, a leader can understand how to manage more effectively. Someone who is an extrovert may not understand why others are quiet. Knowing there are introverts in the group, an extroverted leader will make an effort to personally reach out to those people and hear their opinions. You can learn more about this test in an article titled, “Styles of Leadership,” published July 21 on the website Essortment Articles: Free Online Articles on Health, Science, Education & More.

In addition to understanding a person’s personality type, it is important to understand how he or she leads or participates on a team. Having this knowledge will make others interact more effectively in PRSSA meetings.

Autocratic Leadership

These leaders want to retain power. They want to tell others what to do and retain ownership of the task at hand. They do not appreciate input from others or new ideas. Though this type of leadership sounds negative, it may be effective when a manager needs to make a decision immediately. However, team members usually have low morale if they are not allowed to influence decisions. Under this type of leadership, it is important to show your appreciation for team members in other ways.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Bureaucratic leaders do not think creatively. They follow rules and procedures exactly. While helpful when performing routine tasks, this mindset can inhibit innovation and growth. Team members will stick to what they know and not do anything extraordinary.

Democratic Leadership

These leaders encourage others to participate in decision making. When leading, everyone’s opinion is taken into account before making a final decision. Ultimately, the leader has the final say, but he or she will make sure everyone contributes. This style encourages all team members to be creative, participate in discussions, and expand their responsibilities. The only time democratic leadership is ineffective is when a decision needs to be made quickly.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

Laissez-Faire leaders give team members the chance to do whatever they please with various tasks. Leaders do not dictate what needs to be accomplished and simply trust that high quality projects can be completed. When people have a lot of experience in a particular area, this leadership style can be successful and avoid conflicts. However, if a leader is using this particular style because he or she does not understand a project or task, it can lead to more problems in the future.

The different types of leadership styles do not stop here. Every person reacts to every situation in a different manner. As leaders in this organization, it is important to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, encourage creative and innovative ideas, recognize hard work and be a positive role model to others.

How will you recognize and utilize the positive aspects of these leadership styles and personality traits in your Chapter to ensure a successful year?

This is a guest post from Vice President of Regional Activities Rachel Sprung.


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One Response to Managing Different Leadership Styles Within Your Chapter

  1. Kim Ciesla October 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Great post Rachel! So many different personalities exist on an E-board and within the Chapter. I’m sure this will be a great resource 🙂

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