How do you manage?

I was part of a discussion recently about different management styles. As an independent consultant, I currently only have to manage myself, although the desire is to grow the business and a team of likeminded people. The thoughts and arguments that were being presented by those of us having the discussion caught my interest, so I decided to have a quick look at what types of management style are available. These include:

  • Autocratic:  management make decisions without consultation with their staff or stakeholders.
    • Permissive autocrats: a subset of autocratic managers that give employees some flexibility in the method of implementation and delivery, but not in what is delivered.
  • Consultative: management ask their staff for input but still employ a top-down style.
  • Democratic: staff are allowed input into the decision making process. These managers are becoming more common.

There’s also a great resource on the Australian Leadership Foundation’s website ( which is where the header image for this post has come from. It’s been doing the rounds on Twitter over the last couple of weeks and generating a lot of discussion online. In addition, there are more management types, and deeper descriptions, available on Wikipedia (see

So what sort of management style do you apply to your team?