Free-rein leadership, also called Laissez-Faire, is a type of leadership style in which leaders are hands-off and allow group members to make the decisions. Managers set objectives, and employees are free to do whatever is appropriate to accomplish those objectives. The traits managers need in such an organization include warmth, friendliness, and understanding. Free-rein is often the most successful style concerning the organization in which managers supervise doctors, engineers, professors, and other professionals.
Definition: Free-rein leadership is a style of leadership in which a leader allows group members to make decisions without interference.
Figure: Leadership Styles 
Primary Characteristics of Free-rein Leadership Include: 
- Very little guidance from leaders
- Complete freedom for followers to make decisions
- Leaders provide the tools and resources needed
- Group members are expected to solve problems on their own
Downsides of Free-rein Leadership Include: 
- It is not ideal when group members lack the knowledge or experience to complete tasks and make decisions.
- Some people are not good at setting their own deadlines, managing their own projects, and solving problems on their own.
- Lack of feedback
- Miscommunication among managers and group members
Example of a Free-rein Leadership Style
A marketing manager exemplifying a free-rein leadership style with his employees when:
- The marketing manager’s objective for a new product line is to increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.
- Assigns the campaign’s budget and deadline and allows his employees to choose their own responsibilities, tasks, and methods for achieving the objective.
- Has faith in his employees’ ability to make independent decisions and solve their own problems without interference or micromanagement.
- Encourages them to approach him with any queries or requests for help.
- Evaluates their work and provides them with constructive criticism and commendation for their performance.
- Accepts responsibility for the outcome of the marketing campaign and recognizes his employees’ contributions.
Other types of leadership styles:
AcqLinks and References:
-  Nickels and McHugh, “Understanding Business” McGraw-Hill Irwin 2010
-  Website: About.com – Laissez-Faire
- Team Development Stages