The laissez-faire leadership style was adopted by some American Presidents and was most popular before the great depression. Two of the leaders who used this style of leadership were President Martin Van Buren and President Herbert Hoover.
Leaders who favor the laissez-faire style take a hands-off approach and allow their groups a large amount of personal freedom in their choices and decision making with minimal interference. When dealing with a political leader, this means that they try to let economic issues work themselves out without governmental interference. The theory behind this is that letting the market regulate itself without any type of pressure or stress on privatized businesses and forced wage rates allows for them to stabilize more quickly without bottoming out.
Although there are many positive aspects to this leadership style, there are also some problems that can be encountered with laissez-faire leaders. The hands off approach that is used can be seen as apathetic or lazy. The leaders can also be perceived to be uncaring or withdrawn. Another issue that can arise is because of the lack of involvement by the leadership, the group who falls under the leader can follow the same lead and become less involved in the group. This can cause instability throughout the group.