When you own your own business, it requires you to hire employees and successfully manage them. To be a good business owner, you have to understand what kind of leader you are and understand the people who work for you. It is common knowledge that what works for one employee—in terms of motivation, discipline, and reward—may not work with another. The same is true of leadership styles, so alternating styles may be useful at times. It is important to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and leadership style so you can be the best boss; after all, your business depends on it! Read these descriptions of the various leadership styles and reflect on which one represents you.


Laissez-faire leadership is not a leadership style at all, rather the absence of direct supervision and feedback. A boss who uses a laissez-faire style is usually working alongside highly trained professionals who require a great deal of autonomy and does not provide actual leadership to the employees. A laissez-faire boss may know what is happening, but is not directly involved— such as when a business owner sells a franchise. This hands-off style of leadership is not ideal for a boss who needs to manage subordinates closely as it usually results in a lack of direction and decreased productivity.


An autocratic leader uses complete authority to control the workplace. There is no input taken from subordinates and there is no challenging the autocratic leader. This style of leadership only works in situations where employees require constant close supervision, in times of urgency where there is no time for discussion or feelings, or when safety is at stake. This management style does not offer much growth for a company if it is the exclusive management style used, nor does it allow employees to “buy in” to a company because they will not feel as a member of a team.


The participative leadership style is often called the democratic style. The workplace is viewed as a team and each member is valued. While participative leaders may take input from employees and include them in the decision-making process, they still make all final decisions. This leadership style tends to yield the best employee morale and causes employees to loyally support the organization because employees are able to feel like their opinion matters and that they make a difference in the organization.

Although arguments can be made that anyone one of these leadership styles can be beneficial, it more depends on the structure of your business and your goals. Often times, you may find it necessary to use each of the styles, or a combination, at different times. For instance, if you grow your business with the participative leadership style that affords you the opportunity to make everyone feel included which helps promote top performance, in a time of crisis, you may need to take control and make things happen. When you buy a Sign Me Up franchise, you will have the support of experienced business owners that can help you harness your leadership skills to successfully grow your business.