Laissez Faire Leadership

What Is Laissez Faire Leadership In Business?

Corporate 18th October, 2023 5 Mins Read

Laissez-faire is a French word that means limited interference or letting people do as they choose. The term became popular after the era of mercantile capitalism in the late 1800s. Laissez Faire Leadership is a style of leadership that somewhat uses the same concept through delegation of leadership and letting subordinates work according to their strengths. This leadership style is the complete opposite of autocratic leadership.

In this article, you will learn mainly about Laissez-Faire Leadership in business and how it works in professional situations. We will look at its effectiveness by understanding its characteristics and working. Finally, we will look at some of the major pros and cons of laissez-faire leadership and how it can affect business. Hence, to learn more about this kind of leadership, read on through to the end of the article.

What Is Laissez Faire Leadership?

What Is Laissez Faire Leadership

Indeed.com defines –

Laissez-faire leadership is a method that assesses the unique talents of each employee and assigns responsibilities accordingly. Also known as delegative leadership, it’s the direct opposite of autocratic leadership. With this leadership style, employees can use their skills and ideas to complete their tasks how they prefer, as long as their actions aren’t adversely affecting the company.

In laissez-faire leadership, the ladders of the organization allow their team members to decide on their own, and carry on the work independently. The leaders let subordinates work with little to no interference, and the focus is on only bringing on the results. 

This type of leadership contrasts with other leadership styles like micromanagement, and authoritarian leadership, where the leaders have significant control over the team. On the other hand, laissez-faire leadership is also different from democratic leadership, where the decision-making process is more collaborative.

How Does Laissez Faire Leadership Work?

How Does Laissez Faire Leadership Work

According to Entrepreneur.com,

Successful laissez-faire leaders include Steve Jobs (the co-founder of Apple Inc.), Warren Buffett (the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway) and Herbert Hoover (the 31st President of the United States). These leaders exhibited a strong belief in their team members’ ability to make the right decisions and, as a result, created a work environment that fostered creativity and innovation.

With laissez faire leadership, employees can make use of their skills and capabilities to complete the task the way they prefer. The goal of the process is more on producing results than the process. As long as the actions of the employees are not adversely affecting the company, the employees get permission to work the way they want.

This type of leadership is the best option for those leaders who not only think forward but are also intelligent and resourceful. Furthermore, they are also confident and dependable with their skill sets and know how to bring the most from employees. Laissez-faire leadership is the best option for those industries that value innovation.

Major Characteristics

Major Characteristics Of Laissez Faire Leadership

According to NSLS.org,

Laissez-faire leaders allow their followers to have the autonomy to make their own decisions and manage their own desks. They give their team support, guidance, consultation, and training when it’s needed, but trust them to handle the details and execution of their tasks and projects. […] Freedom is a big priority for laissez-faire leaders, and they empower their teams to make their own decisions and manage their work as they see fit.

The following are some of the major characteristics of laissez faire leadership that you will need to know:

  • It helps in delegating effectively. Managers and leaders can use this method to delegate jobs and tasks to the most qualified personnel. This can improve the efficiency of the workplace.
  • The employee has the choice of doing the work in their own way as long as they are completing the tasks efficiently. This helps the leaders develop better relationships with the employees. Furthermore, the employee can also develop self-confidence, productivity, and autonomy.
  • The management of the company offers the employees sufficient tools and resources to finish the task completely and efficiently. However, the employees can also themselves determine how to complete the task for the best outcome. 
  • While the employees get the freedom to make their own decisions, the managers are allowed to provide constructive criticism to the employees. 
  • The leaders of the company also have the right to take over control whenever they want, despite having a laissez-faire culture, if they deem it necessary at the given time.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Laissez-Faire Leadership?

The following are some of the major pros and cons of laissez faire leadership that you will need to know about:

Pros

Here are the major pros of effective laissez faire leadership that will benefit you:

  • This kind of leadership has a big ability to foster personal growth among team members along with an increase in self-motivation.
  • The employees also get the freedom to explore their own ideas, take risks, and learn from their own experiences.
  • There is increased job satisfaction in laissez-faire leadership, as it can contribute to a positive work environment and a sense of autonomy. 
  • It promotes creativity and innovation.

Cons

Here are a few cons of laissez faire leadership that you must be aware of:

  • There can be a lack of direction among inexperienced members, as well as less accountability.
  • It is not suitable for all types of work environments and all types of employees.
  • If leaders do not check regularly, the needs of team members can be neglected.

Wrapping Up

The type of leadership that a leader takes, or the way in which the organization allows it, can make a significant impact on the work environment and, thereby, the success of any business. Laissez faire leadership is one such leadership practice that allows employees to work as per their own strength, thereby delegating the process of leadership.

Hope that you have understood the major pros and cons of laissez-faire leadership. This will decide when to use this method. The best way to become a good leader is to get an idea of your own strengths and weaknesses and know what you are comfortable with. Do you have anything to add regarding laissez-faire leadership? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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Economic Freedom Entrepreneurship Free Market Individual Liberty Limited Government

A passionate writer and an avid reader, Soumava is academically inclined and loves writing on topics requiring deep research. Having years of content writing experience, Soumava also loves creating blogs in other domains, including digital marketing, business, technology, travel, and sports.

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