When it comes to styles of leadership, there are four main categories. These four categories are Autocratic, Democratic, Laissez-Faire, and Paternalistic.

Autocratic leaders will centralize decision making and power. He assigns duties and tasks and gives orders without consulting his/her employees. This type of leader will take full authority and assume all responsibility.

Democratic leaders decentralize authority. Consultation with subordinates including the participation of everyone when it comes to forming policies and plans is the way this type of leading works. Persuasion and examples are used instead of force and fear.

Laissez-faire or a free-rein leadership style has a leader that avoids responsibility and power. This is a non-interfering form of leadership. The leader will pass on all responsibility and decisions to their subordinates. There is no direction provided and the group establishes their own goals and rules.

Paternalistic leadership occurs when the leader takes on a fatherly role. The relationship in this style of leadership is that the leader or “father” of the company knows best. In this type of leadership role, the person will guide and protect their subordinates as they consider them to be a part of the family.