Laissez Faire Leadership

Laissez Faire Leadership is a french phrase which means "leave it be" and this is essentially the premise behind this leadership theory. This is a really interesting theory and has bought itself fame by being almost controversial in the leadership world. It's not normal to 'let go' of your leadership and let others have such freedom to do the right thing. Although controversial in nature it is almost cutting-edge as a leadership style that research is being done on to see it's validity and ability.

There are relative attributes with a democratic leadership style but as a stand alone theory this leadership style is a lot more extreme. There are extreme amounts of trust involved in leading like this as the leader has to leave the employees or team members to outwork the theory and vision of the team.

In this instance the leader will focus primarily on the theory behind the way in which the team applies the vision. This requires a great deal of intellect on the part of the leader as they must be focused on the more intellectual parts of leading and not on the 'people' side of leading. Therefore, laissez faire leadership almost completely ignores the management role in the team leading environment.

I've rarely seen this strategy work as effectively as people generally can't be trusted 100% and most other leadership theories are more beneficial.

Defining Aspects of Laissez Faire Leadership

The interesting thing about this particular way of leading is that although some contemporary leaders may choose to attempt it, leaders who just let things be and don't practically 'lead' fall into this category also and exhibit this leadership style. Moving forward though lets look at some of the defining aspects.

  • The leader strongly welcomes the input from the team. As the leader has no immediate impact on the management of the team as far as people management, they welcome the ideas and opinions of team members to make the little things happen in the team. 
  • Team members given their own freedom and reign. The leader gives almost total control over to team members which means that they choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing. They can decide when to do what they need to do or not to do it at all.
  • The paramount need to monitor performance and give feedback. Obviously with a hands-off approach, the leader relies on monitoring the performance and results of the team and provide some sort of feedback to guide the team leaders on the theory of how you're leading.

If this leadership style is not what you're looking for then maybe try other leadership theories like laissez faire leadership. You can also visit our hub of theories if you're writing leadership essays or researching different ways of leading.

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