Also called democratic leadership, participative leadership is one of the four participative styles of decision-making, where leaders encourage employees to participate in organizational decision-making. While this approach is not commonly used in the world of business, some professions typically require it, such as arbitrators, social workers, facilitators and group therapists. Here are some of the most famous participative leaders the world has ever known:
1. Donald Trump
By being more of a director than an authoritarian, Trump has built a business empire, facilitating ideas and encouraging other people to freely share information, so that the best decision can be reached instead of one that contains personal bias. He factors various outcomes that might occur, considers other people’s opinions into every decision and works to increase the collective mind in every choice, thus everyone will have a share in the organization’s undertakings.
2. Jim Lentz
Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., is one of the best leaders to have shown how effective it is to guide a team directly through challenges and failures in order to minimize damage and address issues successfully. When millions of Toyota units were recalled due to bad brakes, he appeared on a website to answer questions that thousands of people had. Though difficult to do, leading from the front certainly reaps rewards and encourages others to follow.
3. Bob Diamond
Bob Diamond has seen a lot of success through UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s deregulated financial markets, taking calculated risks and working directly with other people while being both cautious and aggressive to build Barclay’s into huge player in the global financial market. Even with the massive crunch of credit, with banks failing here and there, his company conquered challenges without a government bailout, even taking over American assets during such time to continue growing.
4. Jack Stahl
Stahl, the President of Coca-Cola and then the CEO of Revlon, learned that working with other people was the way to go. He had known the importance of delegation and oversight in order to complete a project. Under his leadership, he has brought companies to higher profitability with his ability to work with the finest of details of any tasks, while also stepping back when it was necessary.
5. James Parker
To be a participative leader, one must put the needs of the employees above his own, and that is what Parker has done at Southwest Airlines. One significant example of this occurred after the 9/11 Attacks, where all the airlines grounded, and Southwest employees were seen taking their customers out to enjoy things, such as movies and bowling, and having them involved with other activities to help pass the time. And while other airlines were reducing staff numbers, Southwest started profit-sharing instead.
The participative style of leadership has been used by many leaders for thousands of years, with successful participative leaders allowing the talents and skills of every member of their teams to be used to reach the best decision. Even though the leader is typically responsible for making the final decision, talent and skill is still effective for efficiency and success.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send Natalie a message here.