There are different leadership styles. Each style can have a unique influence on a company’s performance and effectiveness. It is because leadership styles can influence employees’ satisfaction and trust. In general, leadership styles can be divided into three major categories. They are autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership. There is no best leadership style. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the situation, some styles are more appropriate than others.
For autocratic style, the leaders make almost all of the decisions, leaving little room for employee’s involvement in the decision-making process. The leaders often ignore suggestions from employees. The main advantage of this leadership style is when time is at essence. Specific tasks must be completed immediately. In those situations, autocratic leadership helps leaders save time and get the jobs done as quickly as possible. The major disadvantage of this leadership style is that it limits the creativity and motivation of the entire organization. Employees have no incentives to think creatively because they know that their opinions will not be heard.
Under the democratic leadership, some decision-making authority is given to employees. However, the leaders still reserve the right to make final decisions. The advantage of this style is that employees would be more motivated as they feel their opinions matter more. Consequently, they are more likely to contribute more. The disadvantage is that it takes longer to make decisions as the leaders have to take imputes from employees.
Regarding the laissez-faire leadership style, the decision-making controls are completely given to the employees. The leaders do not control what employees are doing. The convenience of this leadership style is that it works well when the employees are independent and self-motivated. It does not work well when employees rely on leaders to give them guidance.
This post mainly focuses on the comparison between autocratic and democratic styles. For the autocratic style, Elon Musk is chosen as an example. He is the founder of Tesla Motors. He is well-known not only because of his achievements, but also his way of leading and thinking. For the democratic style, Tim Cook is chosen. Most people know he is the CEO of Apple, which is a multinational technology company.
Table of Contents
Leadership Style: Leadership Effectiveness
Typically, there are five main characteristics of an effective leader. First, effective leaders must be trustworthy. When followers put trust in their leader, the leader can influence the followers’ actions and career paths. In addition, effective leaders should be honest. For a leader to be trustworthy, he or she has to be honest first. The leader has to practice ethical and legal behaviors. Second, an effective leader has to be strategic. In other words, the leader is required to act and think strategically. It is because the leader is accountable for forming the future of his or her organization. The leader must possess strategic perspective to guide their followers to the future.
Third, an effective leader is under an obligation to understand and illustrate the importance of teamwork. By definition, leaders only exist when individuals of an organization come together and act as a body. Thus, without teamwork, there would be no organization and no leaders. An effective leader must know how to bring people together to work towards reaching the desired goals. Furthermore, not only the leader needs to create teamwork, he or she also needs to create synergy among members to achieve higher results.
Fourth, leaders should know how to allocate time and energy logically. In reality, a leader cannot be everywhere at the same time. To appear in the proper place at the correct time, an effective leader should acquire skills to distribute his or her time and energy appropriately. The fifth characteristic that an effective leader must have is the ability to identify roles and relationships. The role of each team member has to be defined clearly by the leader and what they should do to contribute to the team relationship as a whole. A winning team is a team whose every member knows the fundamentals of their role and how to play his or her position.
For Elon Musk, there are several things that are mentioned above, making him an effective leader. First, he focuses on people and teamwork. He paid his employees high enough so that they could afford the cars they built. Because of this, all the talents in the region and the world wanted to work for him and his company had a really low turnover rate. Musk always made his employees feel appreciated. He showed that he valued each employee in the company. As can be seen, he attracted talents by both salary and recognition. In addition, Elon Musk always believed in himself and made his employees believe in themselves as well. He wanted to be surrounded by people who thought like him. It was why he hired people who would like to go over their limits.
As a democratic leader, Tim Cook pays close attention to the people who talk to him. Because of this, Cook is able to understand his employees well, their goals, and how to deliver them. Another thing that makes Tim Cook an effective leader is that he puts trust in other people. Cook has been lucky enough to be surrounded by top people who can share the workload with him. He understands that he could not handle everything. He puts trust in the top talented people and shares his work with them. This makes him more effective as a leader. Another thing that makes Tim Cook an effective leader is that he is willing to admit when he is wrong. In fact, he said in an interview that having the courage to change his mind is one thing that Cook admires the most from Steve Jobs. Finally, being transparent is what makes Tim Cook effective leadership lasts. He once said that transparency is the foundation of a leader. If something does not work, people can see from the outside and give Cook suggestions to fix those things. As it shows, while Elon Musk became an effective leader by making his employees believe in themselves while Tim Cook is open to suggestions and is not afraid of being wrong.
Leadership Style: Increasing Motivation
Studies have shown that motivated employees are one of the most significant outcomes of effective leaders. Achieving the company’s goals is not sufficient to keep employees motivated. In fact, effective leaders need to help employees to achieve their own personal goals to motivate them. The more motivated the employees, the more effective the leaders can be.
There are several ways that leaders can use to increase the motivation of employees. First, effective leaders have to commit to making employees happy. Studies have shown that productivity can increase up to twenty percent when employees feel happy, welcomed, and that companies offer great benefits. From then on, the employees are motivated to contribute to the company. Second, to motivate employees, leaders have to give them chances to speak up their minds. Effective leaders must show they are open to feedback and leave room for improvements. When the employees feel their voice is heard, they become more motivated. Third, effective leaders need to set up examples that are worth it for employees to follow. The examples can range from how to compose emails to give presentations. When the leaders demonstrate good examples that employees want to follow, they give their employees the motivation to improve themselves by following the leader’s leads.
For Elon Musk, he was always motivated to do what was beyond his abilities. He was a person who did not take a task because he was capable of doing it. He took the task because he viewed it as an opportunity to learn. In his life, Musk failed multiple times. However, he was not discouraged by his failures. Instead, he took the failures as lessons for his future success. This way of thinking inspired other people. Musk’s employees were inspired by him. Even though Musk followed the autocratic leadership style, his employees still felt inspired by his way of thinking and how he was willing to take on challenges to test his abilities.
One way that Tim Cook motivates his employees is to make an effort to appreciate their work. He once said that every employee helped make Apple grow. Thus, everyone got rewarded. For example, last Thanksgiving, he extended the number of paid holidays. He did not see this as an expense but rather an investment. Furthermore, there are many times that Tim Cook thanked his employees in front of the public. For example, after the release of the iPhone X, Tim Cook publicly thanked his iPhone team. He said that his team executed an outstanding product that required years of experiment and development.
How Elon Musk and Tim Cook Will be Remembered in Business History
Elon Musk has always been remembered as a transformational autocratic leader. Even though he had complete control of his company, he gave his employees the motivation to accomplish their targets and tasks through his characteristics. He was also a man with a wonderful vision. He had the power to create new things, which were unthinkable by other people. He was convinced that his way of thinking would lead his company to success, and he was right. He was confident in his ability and decisions and those made him a great leader. His leadership style suited well with the auto industry, which required bold decisions and innovations to gain a competitive advantage over other opponents.
One thing that Tim Cook is remembered as a leader in business history is his persistence in pursuing his core values and beliefs. Even though a lot of people are against Tim Cook’s philosophy, he accepts the risk and follows his own values and beliefs. This is what faithful leadership belongs to and this is what he will be remembered. Moreover, Cook is recognized as a leader whose commitment to bringing him sincerely and genuinely to all aspects of life. It shows that authentic leadership is based upon the aligned quest of the leader’s legacy. It is the truth and trust that helps him have great relationships with people.
Leadership Style: Communications to Support Ideas
Accurate communication is an essential component to become an effective leader. It is good communication skills that make leaders successful. Effective leaders are capable of connecting their passions while communicating their ideas with others. There are some techniques that effective leaders use for communications to support their ideas. First of all, effective leaders keep their messages inspiring yet straightforward and carry deep meaning. They are able to connect their messages with employees’ jobs, beliefs, and goals. Second, effective leaders usually convey their ideas through stories. Employees do not remember facts and figures. It is real-life stories and experiences that make the ideas relevant and memorable to employees. Lastly, effective leaders can show authenticity in their messages. Because of this, it is easier for effective leaders to communicate their ideas to others.
In the case of Elon Musk, he concentrated heavily on internal communications. To him, internal communications are important in the manufacturing industry. One technique that Musk used to support his ideas was avoiding technology terms. As mentioned above, Musk preferred to keep his ideas simple so that they could be remembered by people more easily. Another technique that Musk used was to communicate through all levels of his company. Even though he was an autocratic leader, he still created an environment where his employees felt safe to give feedback when Musk communicated his ideas to them.
Similar to Elon Musk, Tim Cook has an excellent way of communicating his ideas to his employees. In an interview with Forbes, Cook was able to explain the entire Apple’s operations within ninety seconds. He clearly explained the essential parts of Apple’s business. Furthermore, in all of his speeches, he keeps his focus on customers. He uses examples of people’s lives to highlight Apple’s products. This is what makes his communications inspiring and memorable to the majority of his audience.
Techniques for Problem-Solving, Generating Solutions, and Decision Making
One technique that Elon Musk used to solve problems and generate solutions was to stay focus. To him, people are not aware of their potential. If they focus all of their efforts on the job they are doing, no matter how hard the job is, they can potentially finish it. Also, he once said that there was no hard problem. In his opinion, a hard problem is just a collection of multiple small and easy problems. If a person is persistent enough, all hard problems can be solved. It is just like climbing a mountain. A person needs to climb one step at a time.
In contrast, when approaching problems, the first thing Tim Cook does is to stay calm. Despite the fact that Apple operates at a really fast pace, his calmness helps him get rid of confusion and incompetence when dealing with critical problems. Besides, he always reminds Apple’s employees of the company’s values and asks them to use the values as their guides when solving problems. If there were problems, they must be attacked aggressively.
To conclude, there are different types of leadership, ranging from autocratic to laissez-faire. Each type brings with them their own advantages and disadvantages. Great leaders in the business industry follow different types of leadership based on their personal beliefs, values, personalities, and preferences. In this post, Elon Musk is chosen as a representative for the autocratic leadership style and Tim Cook as a representative for the democratic leadership style. While Elon Musk takes all the power of making decisions to himself, Tim Cook pays more attention to fostering his relationships with employees. In terms of motivations, Elon Musk motivates his employees through being their role models and making them believe in themselves. In contrast, Tim Cook provides rewards and recognition to his employees to motivate them. Both Tim Cook and Elon Musk are great leaders and will be remembered in the business industry. However, while Elson Musk will be remembered as a leader who makes bold decisions and takes on challenges, Tim Cook will be remembered as a leader who follows his own values and beliefs persistently. Their leadership styles and skills are great examples of how a true leader is, regardless of leadership styles.