As a professional in a leadership position, you know how important it is to set firm but attainable standards for your entire staff. You can read every leadership book on the shelf, but nothing prepares you to oversee a team like entering the fray on your first day. Whether you’re new to a leadership role or a seasoned executive, everyone could use a refresher on what works and what doesn’t.

Problematic Leadership Styles:


  • What It Means: A commanding style often means barking orders and having a “no excuses” mentality. Commanding or coercive leaders will often build an immense amount of pressure and behave in a very confrontational way. Commanding leaders sometimes have good intentions. If you’re being coercive in an effort to encourage your team to succeed, you still may need a different approach.
  • Why it Doesn’t Inspire: Acting as a drill sergeant isn’t going to inspire your team. More than likely, it will make them feel stressed and inadequate. Be supportive rather than abrasive to obtain the best results.


  • What It Means: Autocratic leaders operate under the assumption that they have the only opinion that matters. This leadership style will often feel more like a dictatorship than a team of employees. Autocratic leaders don’t value input from their workers and will likely see decreased productivity from their staff.
  • Why it Doesn’t Inspire: When workers don’t feel valued, they won’t produce. To see the best results from your team, it’s essential to inspire creativity and shared ideas. Everyone wants to contribute, so don’t let your people feel left out.


  • What It Means: An exploitative leader is one that takes advantage of others and isn’t able to develop trust. As one of the most counterproductive styles of management, exploitative leaders breed resentment among their staff by giving threats or generating fear.
  • Why it Doesn’t Inspire: Exploiting your people is the quickest way to see poor retention and low productivity. If you treat your people poorly, they’ll leave. Instead of trying to intimidate and belittle, encourage and empower your staff members.


  • What It Means: Contrary to popular opinion, relaxed leadership can be just as detrimental as abrasive leadership. If workers don’t have clear orders and a structured process, they can’t do their best work. Laissez-faire leaders are hands-off and uninvolved, which may work for some audiences.
  • Why it Doesn’t Inspire: Employees like to be trusted, but they still crave constructive feedback. If a staff member isn’t clear on their role or assigned duties, the results can be disastrous.

What’s Next?

It’s important to note that some leadership styles may not be the most inspiring, but we understand that in times of crisis or conflict, they may be necessary. If you need to utilize an autocratic or commanding approach to get a handle on the department, re-visit what will benefit your staff as the dust settles. Remember that no matter what type of worker your managing, people often succeed when they are able to work together collaboratively.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Chicago

To learn more about effective leadership in any industry, check out the resources from the professionals at Davis Staffing. As a top Chicago staffing agency, they know what it takes to stand out and lead a productive team. Contact us today to learn more about staffing solutions that are right for your workers.