Laissez faire Leadership

Laissez faire Leadership

Laissez Faire is a French expression that plainly means "allow to do," centred on the idea, "let people do as they choose."

Kurt Lewin, the German-American Social Psychologist, also known as the father of modern Social Psychology, in the 1930s, came up with his revolutionary work finding three types of leaders, namely laissez-faire, authoritarian, and democratic.

In this piece, we are to focus on the laissez-faire leadership approach. Laissez-faire leadership aka delegative leadership is such a leadership style, in which group members allowed to make the decisions, and leaders are laid-back. Laissez-faire leaders trust and rely on their employees. They don’t get too involved or micromanage the team. Primarily, Laissez-faire leaders do not indulge in rearing their team by giving too many instructions or support. In its place, laissez-faire leaders allow their team members make use of their creativity, experience, and resources to aid them meeting their goals.

Attributes of laissez-faire leaders

There are several conventional attributes of the laissez-faire leadership style, which includes:

  • Less advice from leaders
  • Team members come up with the capability to make decisions
  • People in a team are expected to face and resolve their specific challenges
  • Accessibility to many resources and tools
  • Constructive critique from leaders
  • Leaders pitch in and take charge when needed
  • Leaders take accountability for whole actions and decisions

These leadership attributes may also be observed in other leadership types, and many aspects of this leadership work interchangeably across various management styles. 

Examples of laissez-faire leadership. (Infographics content)

There are examples of various laissez-faire leaders who have lived the style and made their impact in stand out and have made an impact in their industry. The examples include:

Queen Victoria

The Victorian Period is named after her. This period being known for a laissez-faire attitude, is also recognized as the “Age of Individualism”, as the subjects were inspired to use up their individual skills and gifts to make England a renowned and robust nation.

Herbert Hoover

Herbert Hoover was the 31st president of US. He was a renowned leader with a laissez-faire style in politics. He utilized this leadership approach as he trusted his squads and their experience and was enormously successful with this leadership style. 

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is known for great success; he keeps people he trusts around him. He utilizes this leadership approach to ensure that the individuals he works with can perform their tasks effectively, so he does not have to be bothered about it, and only dig in when it is crucial. Warren Buffett is known for allowing people to commit mistakes so they can discover from them, a massive gain. 

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was known for the approach with which he would give out directions to the team and leave them to make out the best way to accomplish the tasks. There are instances where his team members have recorded that they got to use their creative skills and try new things while they worked for Jobs.

Pros of laissez-faire leadership

There are many pros of laissez-faire for employees and managers equally, comprising:

Higher Retention

Laissez-faire leadership leads to higher retention of employees. Team Members feel secure in their work and choose stay with the organization.


Laissez-faire doesn’t mean complete lenience. It means that team members are responsible for the tasks they perform. This is a good means to make certain that they do their best. 

Conducive Work Culture

Laissez-faire leadership creates a more conducive work culture. People never feel controlled or that a leader is always watching over their shoulder. This aids the employees ease, love their work, and intermingle well with their colleagues.

Creative Work Setting

Creativity flourishes under laissez-faire leadership approach. Employees gain autonomy to try new ideas and do their tasks with great passion. laissez-faire leaders, while helping creativity bloom, they do not flood instructions over their team, on how a goal is achieved.

Employee Motivation

Yes, employees get very much inspired when working under a laissez-faire leader, but not his/her influence or instructions, instead they are motivated by their own ideas and the autonomy to implement them.

So soothing to read, right? What if I say this style of leadership has its own flipside? Eager? Wait until I come up with the disadvantages of laissez-faire in my next.

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