Connect with us

Leadership

What is Laissez Faire Leadership and Why You Need It in Today’s World

Published

on

Featured image: What is Laissez Faire Leadership and Why You Need It in Today’s World

We’re reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no cost to you.

In today’s fast paced and ever-changing world, laissez faire leadership is more important than ever. Laissez faire leaders are those who allow their team to be creative and autonomous, giving them the freedom to make decisions and take action.

This type of leadership can be difficult in a corporate setting, but it is essential for innovation and creativity. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of laissez faire leadership and why you need it in today’s world.

What is the laissez faire leadership style

The laissez faire leadership style involves stepping back and giving employees plenty of freedom to make their own decisions and complete tasks on their own.

This approach can have a number of benefits, such as fostering creativity and responsibility among team members. However, it can also lead to ineffective decision making and a lack of direction.

As a result, this laissez faire attitude requires careful consideration and monitoring by the leader to be successful. It may work well with a highly motivated and skilled team, but might not be suitable for every workplace situation.

Ultimately, it’s important for leaders to carefully evaluate the individual strengths and weaknesses of their team before employing a laissez faire approach.

Characteristics of a laissez faire leader

A laissez faire leader is someone who, as the term suggests, takes a “hands-off” approach to management. They provide all necessary training and support, but ultimately they leave decisions in the hands of their employees.

This can lead to some mistakes, but many laissez faire leaders are comfortable with that because they hold themselves accountable for any errors.

Overall, their leadership style relies on trust and empowerment, rather than micromanaging every aspect of the job.

Ultimately, if done well, this method can increase productivity and job satisfaction among the team.

However, it’s important for the leader to have a clear vision and set of expectations for their employees in order for this approach to be successful.

Related: Learn how Amazon succeeds with its principles of leadership

Advantages of laissez faire leadership

One of the biggest benefits of a laissez-faire management style is higher employee retention. When employees are given the autonomy to make their own decisions and take ownership of their work, they feel empowered and valued. This leads to an increase in job satisfaction and a lower turnover rate.

This leadership style can lead to increased accountability within the team. Because employees are given the freedom to make their own choices, they have a greater sense of responsibility for their actions and are more likely to follow through on tasks without constant supervision.

This also creates a relaxed company culture where employees have space to thrive creatively and come up with innovative solutions.

Without constant interference and micromanagement, employees are able to flourish in a creative environment where they can take initiative and exercise their unique skillset.

This not only breeds innovation within the company but also serves as an incredibly motivating factor for employees who feel empowered to make a difference.

Letting go of control allows leaders to focus on more important tasks and strategic planning, setting the stage for long-term success.

Disadvantages of laissez faire leadership

As appealing as it may sound, a laissez-faire style of leadership often falls short in practice.

With little involvement or direction from the leader, there can be confusion amongst team members about their roles and responsibilities. This lack of clarity can lead to missed deadlines and inefficient use of resources.

Additionally, with the leader taking a hands-off approach, they may not be aware of any potential problems or conflicts within the group until it’s too late.

On top of that, this passive leadership style can lead to a demotivated team without any clear guidance or support.

While delegation is important, it’s crucial for leaders to also provide ongoing support and involve themselves in the success of their team.

Otherwise, the disadvantages of laissez-faire leadership will likely outweigh any potential benefits.

laissez faire leadership examples

When it comes to laissez faire leadership, some of the most notable examples include Andrew Mellon, Queen Victoria, Herbert Hoover, and Warren Buffet.

These leaders believed in leaving decisions and operations to their team members, instead of micromanaging every aspect.

However, this hands-off approach can have both positive and negative consequences.

In the case of Andrew Mellon, his laissez faire leadership style allowed him to run a successful financial empire while also serving as Secretary of the Treasury under President Coolidge’s administration.

In contrast, Queen Victoria’s laissez faire leadership led to Britain’s slow adaptation to new technologies during her reign, causing them to lose their status as a global superpower.

Similarly, Herbert Hoover’s laissez faire approach during his presidency contributed to the stock market crash and Great Depression.

On the flip side, Warren Buffet’s laissez faire leadership style has proven successful in his role as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

Ultimately, each leader’s results with a hands-off approach vary greatly and must be carefully considered before implementing such a management technique.

Tips for laissez faire leaders

As a laissez-faire leader, it can be tempting to let your team run wild without structure. However, successful laissez-faire leaders still require a balance of support and supervision.

  • It’s important to regularly observe performance and offer guidance where needed.
  • Providing incentives for success can also help to keep team members on track and motivated.
  • Be open to constructive criticism, as it can help you identify areas where you may need to provide more support.
  • Delegation is key in this leadership style – empower your team members to make their own decisions and take ownership of their work.
  • Always make yourself available for questions or assistance when needed.

With these steps, you can effectively lead as a laissez-faire leader while still ensuring progress and success for your team.

Resources to learn about laissez-faire leadership

Leadership Styles: the Classics: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez-Faire Leadership

“Leadership Styles: the Classics” by Carl Lindberg offers an in-depth look at the three classic leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire.

Lindberg delves into the history and advantages and disadvantages of each style, providing practical examples of how they can be applied in the business world.

The book also explores the concept of hybrid leadership styles and how they can be used effectively.

I found this book to be a valuable resource for those seeking to better understand and utilize various leadership approaches. Highly recommended for both new and experienced leaders.

Leadership Styles: the Classics: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez-Faire Leadership

AllNewBusiness Rating: 4.8/5
Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

leadership styles book cover
Affiliate Disclosure
Leadership Styles: the Classics: Autocratic, Democratic, and Laissez-Faire Leadership
leadership styles book cover

AllNewBusiness Rating: 4.8/5

Amazon Rating: 4.6/5


I’ve also added a few videos you can watch to quickly get acquainted with this style of leadership.

Other leadership styles

leadership styles illustration
Source: Cleverism

When it comes to leadership, the laissez-faire approach is not the only option out there. In fact, there are seven other major styles that can be utilized by leaders.

  • Transactional leadership involves setting specific goals and clearly defining roles.
  • Transformational leadership focuses on motivating and inspiring team members.
  • Servant leadership puts the needs of others before oneself.
  • Democratic leadership encourages group decision making.
  • Autocratic leadership involves one person making all the decisions.
  • Bureaucratic leadership follows strict rules and procedures
  • Charismatic leadership relies on charm and charisma to inspire others.

Each style has its own benefits and drawbacks, and successful leaders may use a combination of these styles to achieve their goals. Ultimately, the key is finding the approach that works best for both the leader and their team.

Related: Read about achievement orientation leadership

Trending