I have confidence in myself but also try to remain aware of my limitations. I believe in working with others which may be why I prefer democratic leadership style. This leadership style will allow me to have strong relationships with my suppliers and keep them motivated and committed to the goals. The leadership style does have certain drawbacks such as longer decision making process. But I still believe it is the most appropriate leadership style since I work at Boeing where each project can have material impact on the company. Thus, it is essential to have followers who are motivated and dedicated to the success of each project.
I have great confidence in my abilities but at the same time I also strive to remain aware of my weaknesses and limitations so as not to underestimate myself. I believe this helps me make better decisions and have more realistic views. At the same time, I also believe that one can only do so much by himself and we need people to successfully achieve difficult goals. In my opinion, it pays to understand people and build good relationships with them. Thus, it is no surprise that I consider myself a democratic leader. I may ultimately make the final decision myself but I like to seek others ideas and opinions. This helps me expand my perspective and become aware of possibilities I might not have thought of otherwise.
The benefits of democratic leadership style are that it keeps employees satisfied and increase their motivation level. They are also more committed to the final decision because they feel they played a part in it. In addition, it also helps the leader develop people skills which are increasingly important in today’s competitive environment. The major drawback is that the decisions may take longer to be made. Thus, this leadership style may not be appropriate for occasions when decisions have to be made quickly (MindTools). Another disadvantage of democratic leadership style is that it may also be less appealing in rapidly changing competitive environment.
Democratic leadership style also helps reduce the communication gap between the leadership and the subordinates (Speedupcareer.com). This may have several benefits. First of all, the leadership will have a better knowledge of the operations and may also be able to quickly respond to problems. In addition, there may be lower employees’ turnover due to higher job satisfaction rates.
Another leadership style that shares similarities with democratic leadership style is people-oriented leadership style. People-oriented leadership style inspires followers to unlock their potential and encourages teamwork and collaboration. This style places a special emphasis on human relationships and helps create trust and loyalty between the leader and the followers. The main drawback is that the emphasis may be too much on human relationships that the actual performance may become a lower priority (Pearsons).
Democratic leadership style is in a stark contrast to the autocratic leadership style in which the leader makes the decision himself without consulting the subordinates (Pearsons). The advantage is that it results in quick decision making and the leadership style may be appropriate if the leader has expert power and is trusted by the followers for his professional competency and experience.
I work at Boeing which is one of the largest organizations in America and often takes multi-billion dollar projects. This is why I believe democratic leadership style is the most appropriate because it will help me motivate my followers to do their best, increase their commitment to the project, and give them the confidence to come to me with any issue they may have. When each project can have material impact on the company, there is nothing better than having committed followers who are as dedicated to the success of the project as the leader is.
MindTools. (n.d.). Leadership Styles. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_84.htm
Pearsons. (n.d.). Leadership and teamwork in the public services. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/FEAndVocational/PublicServices/BTEC/BTECLevel3NationalPublicServices/Samples/StudentBook/BTECLevel3NationalPublicServicesStudentBookSampleMaterial-Unit2Leadershipandteamworkinthepublicservices.pdf
Speedupcareer.com. (n.d.). Democratic Leadership Style. Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.speedupcareer.com/articles/democratic-leadership-style.html