What Management Styles Are Best For Your Startup?

Aaron Vick - What Management Styles Are Best For Your Startup?

The life of an entrepreneur is a tough one to lead – especially if you try to take on everything by yourself. You need to build a team in order to ensure your business succeeds.

Bringing other people into your company allows you to get more work done in a much shorter amount of time. It gives you the tools to come up with better ideas and offer a more satisfactory customer experience. Plus, you get to delegate tasks and focus on the aspects of your business that you’re most passionate about.

But, there are some unique challenges that come with being a manager. You need to establish a chain of command with your employees and set clear expectations while also letting them know that you want to be a resource for them.

It can be hard to find the balance between being direct and tough as well as open and understanding. This is why many entrepreneurs take the time to learn about different management styles.

Here are 5 of the most popular and effective management styles to use, plus a quick guide to help you choose the right one for your business.

1. Autocratic

Autocratic managers make decisions on their own. They don’t ask for much input from their peers, if at all. Rather, they see themselves as the captain of the ship, and they’re always thinking ahead. They rely on team members to take care of short-term initiatives while they set their sights on bigger goals for the company to reach.

This can be seen as innovative by some, but cold and exclusionary by others. Still, autocratic management does succeed if used properly.

2. Authoritative

Authoritative managers are similar to autocratic ones in that they make a lot of the big decisions with a bigger picture for the company in mind. But, these managers try to include their team in the process more than autocratic entrepreneurs do.

It’s the nature of an authoritative manager to be just as fair as they are firm. These people do their best to not ask too much of employees whenever they present new challenges. They like to listen to feedback from time to time, but usually, will aim to persuade others that their decision is best.

Put simply, these managers focus on the “why” and the “how” when setting and accomplishing company goals.

3. Pacesetting

Speaking of setting goals, have you heard of the pacesetting management style?

This approach to management is all about leading by example. Instead of making a lot of decisions from the top and not being too involved in the daily operations of the team, pacesetting managers are often found working right next to their employees. They’re aiming to set higher expectations by showing that what they’re asking of others can actually be done, even if it seems a bit extreme at times.

Pacesetters are workhorses. They’re highly driven people whose work ethic often brings out the best in their peers.

However, it might be hard for some people to keep up with such a fast-paced environment. Pacesetters have to be careful of asking too much from others, even if they’re comfortable putting in the extra time and effort to get things done.

4. Participative

Up next on the list is the participative management style. Such managers are always focused on the team. They put their people first, with the strong belief that this will result in big accomplishments for the company.

These managers have a tendency to “do their rounds” in the office. They like checking in with their employees and they strive to include everyone in the decision-making process.

This makes the team feel more unified and it boosts company morale. When employees feel like they’re heard, they’re more likely to share creative thoughts and work harder as a whole.

Participative management does have its downsides, though. It can be hard to decide on new ideas or get the ball rolling on big projects when so many people are involved. At some point, these managers have to keep things moving even if there’s a lot of debate still going on.

5. Democratic

Last but not least, the democratic style. This is similar to participative management, but the key difference is that democratic leaders make every decision with their team. They allow others to share their opinions on a matter, and they do what the majority thinks is best even if they personally do not agree.

This is powerful. It makes everyone feel like they have a voice within their organization, and more importantly, encourages them to use it.

Choosing Among the Best Management Styles

You can read about all the best management styles and choose one that you’d like to use, or you can figure out how to use different management styles in different situations.

The truth of the matter is there are times when you have to be autocratic, authoritative, pacesetting, participative, and democratic.

You can’t take your company very far if you rely on just one management style because each one has its own limitations. But if you get comfortable using each approach as different situations call for them, there’s no limit to what you and your team can do.

Taking Your Management Approach to the Next Level

Not sure how to use one of the management styles mentioned above?

Having trouble finding your voice as a manager in general?

Not to worry – all the startup management and decision-making help you need is right here. Connect with me today to start learning how to be a better leader for your team.