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The final leadership style we’ll be exploring is the free-reign leadership style,  also known as the “hands-off¨ style. It is one in which the leader provides little or no direction and gives employees as much freedom as possible, even though the leader is responsible for the final outcome. All authority or power is given to the employees and they determine goals, make decisions, and resolve problems on their own. I have seen this work incredible well in business or fall in a massive burning heap of smoldering ash! Below we’ll look at where this style of leadership is beneficial and when it’s not. Considering a leader has the responsibility for business outcomes, they need to be incredibly confident in adopting this style of leadership.

The situation I have seen this style fail is where there has been a particularly ‘weak’ person in the leadership role, incapable of making a decision. All responsibility was left to the team. The problem was, the leader did not recognize the efforts of the team, publicly or individually and claimed the glory for the business performance, which they did not lead or contribute to. There were power struggles with team members and the culture was confused and confronting for some. It was not a good place to work.

Free Reign Leadership is an effective style to use when:

·       The leader is a good role model for decision making and provides high level vision

·       Employees are highly skilled, experienced, and educated.

·       Employees have pride in their work and the drive to do it successfully autonomously.

·       Outside experts, such as executive coaches or consultants are being used

·       Employees are trustworthy and confident

·       The team is a high performing group of capable and driven people

This style should not be used when:

·       The leader is not confident in their ability or can not make a decision

·       The leader will not provide regular feedback to let employees know how they are performing

·       Leaders will not or are unable to thank employees for their good work.

·       The leader doesn’t understand his or her responsibilities and is hoping the employees can cover for him or her.

This completes our focus on leadership styles. You can decide now based on your work environment, your demands and/or those working for you, which style of leadership works best for you and your team.


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