Who Is an Example of a Famous Delegative Leader and Why?

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Highly successful businessman and investor Warren Buffett is an example of a delegative leader. This management style, also known as laissez-faire leadership, is characterized by a hands-off approach. Workers receive little guidance to make decisions and solve problems, while leaders supply tools and resources. Although delegative leadership often results in low productivity, Buffett has achieved great success using it.

Delegative leadership requires appointing managers who are competent and do not need day-to-day supervision. Buffett hires executives who are highly skilled and independent and then trusts them to perform. Within this environment, Buffett’s staff are self-assured and driven to achieve. They not only feel they are in charge; they do have full responsibility. Consequently, supervisors are motivated to reach their goals.

Buffet believes in the abilities of his employees, but he does not keep that to himself. He communicates his trust and respect to the people he hires. If someone makes a mistake, Buffett often uses it as a learning experience and does not penalize the wrongdoer.

Although he does not interfere with his executives’ functions, Buffett is accessible and willing to advise, if he is sought out. He is open and honest in his interpersonal dealings and is willing to acknowledge his own mistakes. Buffet is approachable, because he projects a mixture of modesty, confidence and appreciation.