Exploring Different Leadership Styles: A Comprehensive Guide

Leadership Styles

The way leaders guide and influence their teams can significantly impact productivity, engagement, staff turnover, staff wellbeing, and overall morale.

In fact, Gallup (2023) estimates that 70% of team engagement is attributable to the team leader. And a recent study by CMI found that 28% of job leavers cited a negative relationship with their manager as a key reason for quitting.

It is thus fair to say that how we lead really matters, even more so than who we lead. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of different leadership styles and suggestions for further reading and development.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Leadership Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or others adopt positive leadership practices and help organizations thrive.

This Article Contains

Goleman’s leadership styles, the 4 most effective positive leadership styles, leadership coaching: improving your skills, 3 leadership programs to enhance your leadership style, 4 recommended leadership books, 4 recommended youtube videos, positivepsychology.com resources, a take-home message.

In their influential book Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence , the psychologists Daniel Goleman, Richard E. Boyatzis, and Annie McKee (2002) turned the term “emotional intelligence” into a household concept. They also demonstrated the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership.

The authors champion leadership that is self-aware, empathic, motivating, and collaborative. These qualities are ever-more important in our increasingly economically volatile, fast-changing, and technologically complex world.

In the book, they also discuss the core features of six distinctive leadership styles. According to Goleman et al. (2002), each style has its own strengths and limitations. Ideally, effective leaders learn to adapt their style to the situation at hand.

1. The visionary leadership style

Goleman et al. (2002) define the visionary leadership style as the ability to move people toward a shared dream or vision.

Visionary leaders have a clear and compelling dream of the future, and they know how to communicate it. They inspire their team members with a sense of purpose and direction.

Their ability to articulate a compelling vision motivates and energizes their followers and fosters a sense of unity and shared commitment.

2. The coaching leadership style

The coaching leadership style is characterized by the leader’s focus on helping employees reach their full potential. Above all, coaching leaders seek to support personal development and growth.

By providing guidance and mentoring, offering constructive feedback, and promoting skill building, coaching leaders create an environment conducive to continuous learning and improvement. This style promotes employee engagement and generates long-term organizational success.

3. The affiliative leadership style

An affiliative leader prioritizes harmony and bonding among their team members. They emphasize building strong relationships, cultivating a sense of belonging, and creating a supportive work environment.

Goleman et al. (2002) argue that affiliative leaders aim to resolve conflicts and enhance team cohesion by focusing their energies on open communication, empathy, and trust.

4. The democratic leadership style

The democratic leadership style entails involving team members in decision-making processes and truly valuing their input and perspectives.

Goleman et al. (2002) suggest that democratic leaders seek to empower their teams. They foster a collaborative culture where everyone’s opinions are respected. This inclusive approach tends not only to result in high levels of job satisfaction , but also promotes creativity and innovation within an organization.

5. The pacesetting leadership style

The pacesetting leadership style is characterized by leaders who consistently set high standards and expect their team members to meet them. This style can be both inspiring and demanding.

Pacesetting leaders strive for excellence and inspire their team members through role modeling. However, although effective in the short term, this style may leave little room for creativity, development, and autonomy in the long run. It is also important to remember that a great challenge should ideally be accompanied by significant support.

6. The commanding leadership style

The commanding leadership style is assertive, direct, top-down, and expects immediate compliance. While commanding leaders may excel in crisis situations, they may create a negative work environment if they overuse that style in non-urgent settings.

This style can be effective for short-term results but may impede employee engagement and creativity over time.

Positive leadership styles

Adjectives to describe more problematic leadership styles include autocratic, top-down, transactional, bureaucratic, laissez-faire, or military. We will now explore four well-known effective leadership styles in more detail.

The four positive leadership styles that are currently attracting the most interest among researchers and positive psychology practitioners are coaching leadership, transformational leadership, authentic leadership, and servant leadership. All of them are viewed as positive and constructive leadership styles that bring out the best in the people who are being led.

Coaching leadership

Coaching leaders focus on developing those whom they lead and seek to support their growth and learning. Coaching leadership revolves around cultivating a supportive and encouraging environment that promotes growth and excellence in team members.

Unlike traditional leadership styles that emphasize top-down decision-making and unquestioning compliance, coaching leaders adopt a facilitative approach. They focus on building strong relationships, fostering collaboration, and nurturing individual talents.

A coaching leader is in effect a powerful catalyst who reminds people of their own resources and strengths and encourages them to use and develop them.

Key principles of coaching leadership include:

1. Active listening

Effective coaching leaders actively listen to their team members, encouraging them freely to express their thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. This practice helps leaders gain a deeper understanding of their team’s needs and enables them to provide tailored guidance. Because they listen carefully to what others say, coaching leaders can also truly benefit from the collective intelligence of their teams and their team members’ insights.

2. Empowerment

Coaching leaders strive to empower individuals by fostering a culture of autonomy and accountability. They encourage their team members to take ownership of their work, to make informed decisions, and to learn from both their successes and their failures.

3. Growth mindset

Coaching leaders promote a growth mindset culture, in which mistakes are seen as learning opportunities and continuous improvement is valued. This mindset encourages individuals to step out of their comfort zones , explore and develop their skills, and embrace new challenges.

Benefits of coaching leadership include enhanced employee engagement and a focus on skill development and improved communication. By valuing people’s needs and aspirations, coaching leaders create a more engaged and motivated team.

This commitment leads to increased productivity and better overall team performance (van Woerkom et al., 2016). Through mentoring, skill-building exercises, and feedback, coaching leaders help their people develop new competencies and refine existing ones (Webb, 2019).

By listening actively and providing constructive feedback, leaders can foster trust, improve team interactions, and boost collaboration among team members (van Woerkom et al., 2016).

Transformational leadership

Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their teams by articulating a compelling vision and encouraging personal growth. They seek to create a sense of community and commitment, challenge existing norms, and drive positive change within their organization (Bass & Riggio, 2006).

At its core, transformational leadership is about empowering and inspiring individuals to transcend their limits by promoting a collective sense of purpose and growth. This leadership approach moves beyond traditional managerial practices by focusing on developing strong relationships, cultivating vision, and promoting personal and professional growth.

The four pillars of transformational leadership are:

1. Idealized influence

Transformational leaders serve as role models. They lead by example and demonstrate high ethical standards. By being charismatic visionaries, they inspire team members to trust, respect, and emulate their behavior.

2. Inspirational motivation

These leaders are adept at articulating a compelling vision and conveying it in a passionate way that instills inspiration within their teams. By sharing a clear purpose and setting high standards, they inspire employees to achieve their full potential and support the bigger-picture aims of their teams and organizations.

3. Intellectual stimulation

Transformational leaders value creativity and encourage innovative thinking in their teams. They challenge employees to question the status quo and build environments that are conducive to learning, curiosity, and growth.

4. Individualized consideration

Recognizing the diverse needs and aspirations of each team member, transformational leaders provide individual support, coaching, and mentoring . They genuinely care about their employees’ personal and professional development, fostering a sense of belonging and creating a supportive work culture.

Numerous studies have shown the positive influence of transformational leadership on both individual wellbeing and organizational outcomes (see, for example, Avolio et al., 2004; Bass & Riggio, 2006; Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Wang et al., 2011).

Through its emphasis on inspiration and personal growth, this leadership style has been linked to higher employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall workplace wellbeing . Transformational leaders also tend to foster stronger commitment, loyalty, and organizational citizenship behavior among employees.

Transformational leadership can have a ripple effect throughout organizations, enhancing team performance and increasing overall productivity. By encouraging open communication, generating a shared vision, and valuing innovation, transformational leaders cultivate an environment that nurtures creativity, adaptability, and continuous improvement.

Authentic leadership

Authentic leaders seek to lead with integrity and transparency, inspiring trust and creating an environment where individuals can be their true selves. They prioritize being genuine, self-aware, and acting consistently according to one’s values (Avolio & Gardner, 2005).

Authentic leadership emphasizes genuine self-awareness, transparency, and a commitment to one’s core values. At the core of authentic leadership lies self-awareness, a deep understanding of our values, beliefs, strengths, and weaknesses.

These leaders cultivate awareness through introspection, reflection, and a sincere desire to learn and grow. A study by George et al. (2007) suggests that self-awareness helps leaders align their actions with their core values, which enhances their credibility and authenticity.

Authentic leaders are transparent about their intentions and decisions. They also risk being vulnerable in front of their teams. This transparency promotes trust and psychological safety , enabling followers to reciprocate with their own authenticity. Research by Luthans and Avolio (2003) describes authentic leaders as being down to earth, approachable, and actively engaged with their teams.

Their words and actions are aligned. In other words, they say what they think and do what they say. Even when faced with challenging situations, they uphold their values and ethics. Research by Avolio et al. (2004) suggests that leaders who demonstrate this kind of consistency and integrity are more likely to inspire and motivate their followers, cultivating a sense of trust, purpose, and commitment within their teams.

Authentic leaders possess a high degree of emotional intelligence, which enables them to truly understand and empathize with others. They leverage this empathy to connect with their team members. Positive psychology research conducted by Clapp-Smith et al. (2008) suggests that authentic leaders who display empathy can provide effective support, understanding, and compassion to their followers.

Servant leadership

Servant leaders prioritize the needs of their team members and work to help them reach their full potential, always placing the team’s success above their own. They demonstrate humility, empathy, and a strong commitment to serving others (Greenleaf, 1977).

Servant leadership , as described by Robert K. Greenleaf (1977), centers on the idea that leaders should be driven by a deep-rooted desire to serve and support their team members and the organizations they work for. This counterintuitive approach presents an antidote to traditional leadership styles. It emphasizes the wellbeing, growth, and success of those within the leader’s sphere of influence.

Some key features of servant leadership include:

1. Empowerment rather than control

While many leaders exert their authority and micromanage their teams, servant leaders recognize the importance of empowering individuals to be creative and resourceful on their own terms (Laub, 1999).

By actively listening, providing guidance, and creating a culture of trust, they enable their team members to thrive, pursue innovative ideas, and take full ownership of their responsibilities and decisions (Laub, 1999).

2. Building trust and collaboration

One of the foundational pillars of servant leadership is the cultivation of trust and fostering collaboration among team members. Servant leaders seek to create an environment in which people feel safe, respected, and valued.

By promoting open communication, embracing diverse perspectives, and actively involving everyone in decision-making processes, servant leaders seek to create a cohesive and nurturing team culture.

3. Emotional intelligence

Servant leaders possess strong emotional intelligence, which enables them to empathize with their team members’ experiences, needs, and aspirations. This heightened understanding allows them to provide the necessary support, guidance, and motivation, which, in turn, leads to increased satisfaction and personal growth among team members (Van Dierendonck, 2011).

By practicing servant leadership, leaders not only enhance the wellbeing and productivity of their teams but also seed a legacy of ethical and compassionate leadership. Servant leadership creates a positive ripple effect, inspiring others to adopt a similar people-centric approach. In that way, servant leaders can create sustainable cultures of humility, empathy, and continuous learning in organizations (Greenleaf, 1977).

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Whichever leadership style appeals to you, the good news is that leadership can be learned. It is a teachable skill, and the best way to develop as a leader is by opting for leadership coaching.

Leadership coaching (which differs from the coaching leadership style discussed above) focuses on developing leadership skills through one-on-one coaching and feedback sessions. This personalized and experiential approach helps leaders identify their strengths and areas for improvement and unlock their full potential (Grant et al., 2019).

Leadership coaching is a collaborative and personalized process aimed at improving leadership effectiveness. It can maximize potential and foster growth in individuals or groups (Hattrick & Scholz, 2020). Rather than dictating solutions, coaches empower leaders to discover their unique leadership style, overcome challenges, and achieve their professional and personal goals. They educate their coaches to help themselves and strengthen their own problem-solving capacities and resilience.

Leadership coaching has the following positive effects:

1. Enhanced self-awareness

Leadership coaching aids in fostering self-awareness , enabling leaders to understand their strengths, weaknesses, values, and areas where personal growth is required (Kumari et al., 2020). By recognizing and harnessing their unique qualities, leaders can guide and inspire their teams more effectively.

2. Improved communication and emotional intelligence

Leadership coaching emphasizes developing strong interpersonal skills, effective communication, and emotional intelligence. By honing these qualities, leaders can build better relationships, resolve conflicts with more equanimity, and create a positive work environment (Oakley et al., 2019).

3. Clarifying goals and strategies

Coaches assist leaders in clarifying their goals and defining strategies to achieve them. This process helps leaders focus on their vision and align their actions with their objectives (Salas-Vallina et al., 2021).

4. Increased resilience

Leadership coaching plays a crucial role in fostering resilience in leaders . By developing adaptive and coping strategies, leaders who are receiving coaching can better handle challenges, setbacks, and pressures (Passarelli et al., 2019). This resilience leads to improved decision-making and enhanced overall leadership performance.

To further develop your leadership skills, consider participating in the following leadership programs. Each program focuses on specific aspects of leadership, equipping individuals with the tools and knowledge to become more effective leaders.

Organizations such as the Harvard Business School, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom offer some of the most renowned leadership development programs.

1. Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School

The Harvard Business School is perhaps one of the most prestigious business schools. It offers four comprehensive leadership programs that offer business management and leadership curriculum and personalized coaching.

Find out more about their offerings to choose an option that appeals: Comprehensive leadership programs .

2. The Center for Creative Leadership

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership offers numerous different and inspiring leadership development programs too, including one that focuses specifically on transformational leadership.

You can have a look at their options here: Leadership programs .

3. The Henley Business School

Henley Business School

The Henley Business School, which is affiliated with the University of Reading, offers a comprehensive six-day in-person leadership program.

Find out more about The Leadership Programme .

To deepen your understanding of leadership and to develop new insights, you may enjoy reading one of the following books.

1. Leadership: A Very Short Introduction – Keith Grint


This book is a great comprehensive overview of leadership and leadership styles. No longer than a long essay, it is a perfect choice for those pressed for time and needing a good overview, and thereafter you can dive into styles and topics most appealing.

Keith Grint invites us to rethink our understanding of leadership in Leadership . His guide includes valuable reflections on how leadership has evolved over time and also considers the different contexts from which different leadership theories emerge.

Grint goes back all the way to the early reflections on leadership by writers including Plato, Sun Tzu, and Machiavelli.

Find the book on Amazon .

2. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations – James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

The Leadership Challenge

This international bestseller, which is now in its seventh edition, offers valuable practical guidance for becoming an exemplary leader.

The two authors deliver an essential strategic playbook for effective leadership. They explore the five practices of exemplary leadership, providing real-life examples and actionable strategies.

Crucially, the authors also emphasize that leadership is a skill to be learned as well as a practice grounded in relationships. New sections include reflections on how to lead in hybrid environments and how to combat disengagement and cynicism.

3. Dare to Lead: Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts  – Brené Brown

Dare to lead

In this famous book and number one New York Times bestseller, Brené Brown combines research, personal stories, and practical advice to explore the qualities that make courageous leaders.

Brown’s take on the topic is unique. Above all, she emphasizes vulnerability, as well as self-awareness, curiosity, and empathy, as the key qualities of a great leader. She invites us to see power not as something we should hoard but as something to share with others.

Brown writes:

From corporations, nonprofits, and public sector organizations to governments, activist groups, schools, and faith communities, we desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather than unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.

(Brown, 2018, p. 4)

4. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t – Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last

In Leaders Eat Last , the international bestselling author Simon Sinek investigates great leaders who sacrifice not just their place at the table, but often their own comfort and even their lives for those in their care.

They range from Marine Corps officers to the heads of big business and government. They all share that they put aside their own interests to protect their teams. For them, leadership is not a rank, but a responsibility.

If you do not have time to read a book on leadership, you may enjoy watching one of our four recommended YouTube videos instead.

In this short video, Brian Tracy explains five different leadership styles that people can use to lead their teams to success: structural, participative, servant, freedom, and transformational leadership.

Kurt Lewin describes different leadership styles in this slightly longer video. Lewin focuses on autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire leadership. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each style as well as the situations in which each style is most useful.

In this much-watched TED talk, Peter Anderton argues that great leadership requires only two simple rules. Curious to find out what they are? Watch the video.

In this last video, Jenn, a career coach, shares insights into eight key leadership styles. Importantly, she also discusses how we can find out which style might be best suited for us. Many of us will have been wondering about this question. Jenn shares practical advice on how we can choose and develop our own natural leadership style.

PositivePsychology.com offers a range of resources to enhance your understanding of various leadership styles. On our website, you will find numerous in-depth articles on specific leadership theories and styles, many of which were only briefly discussed in this article.

In addition, there are a multitude of articles to assist in improving leadership as well as creating a positive working environment.

How to Use the Johari Window to Improve Leadership

  • Assertiveness in Leadership: 19 Techniques for Managers
  • Strength-Based Leadership: 34 Traits of Successful Leaders
  • 15 Ways to Give Negative Feedback, Positively (+ Examples)
  • Job Satisfaction Theory: 6 Factors for Happier Employees
  • Why Team Building Is Important + 12 Exercises

Free tools and numerous inspiring activities to identify and enhance your leadership style can be found in our article offering leadership activities , games, and exercises.

If you’re looking for more science-based ways to help others develop positive leadership skills, check out this collection of 17 validated positive leadership exercises . Use them to equip leaders with the skills needed to cultivate a culture of positivity and resilience.

Perhaps the most important point about leadership is that leadership can be improved. Remember that great leadership is, after all, a combination of skills and qualities that we can work on, practice, and enhance.

As leadership expert Warren Bennis puts it:

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”

(Bennis, as cited in Hunter 2004, p. 42)

Everyone can be a great leader — introverts as well as extroverts, feelers as well as thinkers, visionaries as well as people who care for detail and process.

What matters most is that we cultivate self-awareness, that we remain humble, that we truly care for those whom we lead, that we keep learning, and that we foster a growth mindset both in ourselves and others.

We hope you enjoy using these resources to advance your leadership journey and that they will help you unfold your true potential as a leader.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Leadership Exercises for free .

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  • Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Walumbwa, F. O., Luthans, F., & May, D. R. (2004). Unlocking the mask: A look at the process by which authentic leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviors. The Leadership Quarterly , 15 (6), 801–823.
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  • Gallup. (2023). Gallup state of the global workplace report 2023 . Retrieved November 9, 2023, from https://www.gallup.com/workplace/349484/state-of-the-global-workplace.aspx.
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  • Grant, A., Curtayne, L. & Burton, G. (2009). Executive coaching enhances goal attainment, resilience and workplace well-being: A randomised controlled study. The Journal of Positive Psychology , 4 , 396–407.
  • Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness . Paulist Press.
  • Hattrick, S. C., & Scholz, U. (2020). Beyond the dyad: Group-level patterns of change in leadership coaching. Frontiers in Psychology , 11 .
  • Hunter, J. C. (2004). The world’s most powerful leadership principle: How to become a servant leader. Crown Business.
  • Judge, T. A., & Piccolo, R. F. (2004). Transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of Applied Psychology , 89 (5), 755–768.
  • Kumari, S., Chaturvedi, S. K., & Isaac, M. (2020). Leadership development in medical education: From knowledge gained to real-world implementation. Frontiers in Psychology , 11 .
  • Laub, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the Servant Organizational Leadership Assessment (SOLA) instrument  [Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University].
  • Luthans, F., & Avolio, B. J. (2003). Authentic leadership: A positive developmental approach. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton, & R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline (pp. 241–258). Berrett-Koehler.
  • Oakley, C. A., Baker, V. L., Baca, L., & Rowland, K. R. (2019). A strategic approach to coaching leaders: Expanding aftercare models to include emotional intelligence and psychological capital. Frontiers in Psychology , 10 .
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  • Salas-Vallina, A., Salanova, M. Martínez, I. M., Bresó, E., Schaufeli, W. B., & García-Renedo, M. (2021). Truly understanding work engagement: Efficacy, discipline, and extraversion as burnout antidotes. Frontiers in Psychology , 12 .
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  • http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0110-2378 Clare Felicity Jane Price-Dowd
  • People Directorate , NHS England and Improvement , Leeds , West Yorkshire , UK
  • Correspondence to Dr Clare Felicity Jane Price-Dowd, People Directorate, NHS Improvement, Leeds LS1 4HG, West Yorkshire, UK; clare.price-dowd{at}improvement.nhs.uk

Understanding of personal leadership style has been shown to be a key part of effective leadership practice. It has been a topic of interest for many decades as we have tried to understand, and replicate, what makes those considered to be ‘great leaders’ so successful. This article gives a brief introduction to different leadership ‘theories’, leadership ‘styles’ and the effect they have on the ‘climate’ in organisations. Having an understanding of the different approaches can help leaders be more effective through comprehending how and why they do what they do, as well as helping them identify where and when they need to adapt their style. By considering how our understanding of leadership has evolved, it is possible to show how effective leadership is not linked to one approach. It is a combination of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours with a focus on both the task in hand and concern for those undertaking that task. Furthermore this understanding supports impactful personal development, which creates positive climates in organisations where compassionate and inclusive leadership behaviours can, and do result in better outcomes for staff and patients.

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Who, when flipping through a publication has not been tempted by the ‘personality quiz’, hoping to get the ‘mostly A, B or C’ that indicates we have the attributes for long and successful careers or lots of friends? While this level of ‘knowing how we are’ could be dismissed as flippant, when it comes to leadership, understanding our personal approach can be invaluable. If you asked people around you ‘what sort of leader do you think you are?’ they would most likely answer in the singular ‘I lead by example,’ ‘I build relationships with people,’ or ‘I don't tolerate underperformance’. They are unlikely to say ‘I do this here, and that on other occasions’ yet the most effective leaders are those who attune to their context, consciously adapt their practice and have an awareness of how their own style effects others. This article introduces the different theories and styles of leadership and how they can be used to create positive work climates. The key terms are given in table 1 .

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Evolution of leadership theory and understanding of style

A desire to understand what makes a successful leader is not new. For centuries there has been debate about what differentiated leaders from non-leaders, and leaders from followers. In a comprehensive review of leadership theories by Stogdill, 1 a number of categories were identified and in the 80+ years since Lewin et al 2 published their theory on patterns of behaviour in 1939, we have seen an evolution from trying to identify ‘common traits’ based on inherent characteristics of ‘great men and women’ through to the what we now understand to be the successful combination of person, place and approach. Looking further into this evolution, although this is not a comprehensive list, it is possible to group the stages of development as follows:

Trait theory—for example as seen in the work of Carlyle 3 and Stodgill 1 is concerned with the type of person that makes a good leader and the innate qualities and associated leadership traits they have. A meta-study by the Centre for Excellence in Management and Leadership 4 identified over 1000 leadership traits in the literature, which they distilled to 83 more or less distinct attributes. While no specific trait or combination was found to guarantee success, trait theory did help in identifying qualities that are helpful when leading others such as integrity and empathy.

Later, behavioural theory identified what good leaders do—effectively how they ‘lead well’. Examples include the Tannenbaum and Schmidt continuum 5 —seven stages of reducing control namely Tells, Sells, Suggests, Consults, Joins, Delegates and Abdicates; the Action-Centred Leadership Model of Adair 6 which sets out the three responsibilities of the leader—‘achieving the task, managing the team and managing individuals’ and the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid 7 also referred to as ‘The Power to Change’ which outlines two behavioural dimensions: Concern for Results and Concern for People.

Situational and contingency theory: looks at the leader in the context of where they lead. By considering how the leader’s success is directly influenced by their environment, it became possible to identify the conditions that support or constrain leaders as seen in work including Feidler 8 Vroom and Yetton 9 Yukl 10 ; Hersey and Blanchard 11 ; Thompson and Vecchio. 12

Transactional theories—as seen in the work of Weber 13 and later by Bass, 14 focuses on the leader getting results by using process and structures while applying reward and penalty in response. Within this are power and influence theory, exchange and path-goal theory by House 15 16 which concentrate on the relationship between leader and led as a series of trades or ‘leader-member exchanges’.

In more recent years, while the transactional and positive view of hero leadership has never entirely gone away, the notion of ‘Hero to Host’ 17 which describes the move to transformational and ‘new wave’ styles outlined by Burns 18 Bass 14 and Kouzes and Posner 19 among others. Transformational leadership not only serves to enhance the motivation, morale, satisfaction and performance of followers, but also sees the leader role model compassionate and inclusive behaviours, which are valued. In ‘Good to Great’ by Collins, 20 the Level 5 leader is described as possessing both indomitable will, but also humility and is often self effacing and shy, the opposite of what we might have previously described as leadership traits!

Relevance for leaders

Every day, leaders in healthcare must constantly analyse complex situations, engage, motivate, empower and delegate. Many leaders now operate within complex adaptive systems—organisations that are an interconnected whole of many parts, which may and may not function effectively together depending on changing circumstances. This calls for leadership skills and behaviours that can move between each required activity with seemingly effortless ease and without loss of effectiveness.

Having an appreciation of different theories and styles also helps us identify our reaction to these changing situations. In considering the global COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership behaviours required, and experienced, may be different to anything encountered before. The effect of leadership in this situation is profound and will have a lasting impact. Displaying command behaviours may be necessary but uncomfortable, while teams may not be used to being directed with minimal consultation. Sustained pressure may have a negative effect, but it does not follow that leadership behaviours slide into being disrespectful or non-inclusive—it is about the leaders focusing on the task and ensuring individuals and teams are clearly instructed on the part they have to play; consulted where possible and informed of when and when they need to do as instructed.

However, knowing about ‘how we are’ is only part of the picture, equally important is understanding the effect we have on other. Goleman 21 found that the one of the biggest mistakes leaders make was to default to a style of personal choice rather than responding with the most appropriate in the situation, while Blanchard 22 suggests that 54% of leaders only ever apply one preferred leadership style regardless of the situation. The result is that almost half of the time, leaders are using the wrong style to meet their current objective or lead the people around them well.

The danger here is trying to be the most popular leader and everyone’s favourite, rather than developing an authentic repertoire of skills. If you have never considered your leadership style or the types of leadership behaviours you have there are a number of tools to help such as the National health Service Healthcare Leadership Model. Based on research of the behaviours of effective leaders, Storey and Holti 23 defined nine domains (Inspiring shared purpose: leading with care: evaluating information: connecting our service: sharing the vision: engaging the team: holding to account: developing capability and influencing for results) against which can leaders can self assess and gain pointers on how to strengthen their style.

Relevance for the work environment

Research by KornFerry Hay Group 24 shows an up to 70% of variance in climate and an up to 30% increase business performance can be directly attributable to the climate leaders create through their style of leadership. This includes feeling included, supported and having a role that is meaningful. To help leaders create a positive climate, Goleman 21 defined six leadership styles—see table 2 —which he then correlated with the type of climate each created for those around them. Those able to deploy the styles in the left column have been shown to create high performing teams in positive climates.

Leadership Styles and the climate they support (adapted from Goleman 21 )

These are not the only leadership styles: others include Autocratic leadership where leaders/managers make the decisions and employees follow orders as previously stated; laissez-faire leadership where the manager empowers employees but gives them few rules to follow with little oversight or direction: bureaucratic leadership where hierarchies and job titles to determine responsibilities and rules and servant leadership which focuses on the needs of employees, seeing them as the organisation’s most important resources and often treating them as clients, but only the six here were included by Goleman.

The effects of the leadership styles displayed and the effects they have on the climate within organisations has far reaching impact for team members. The ability to flex your leadership style and create a positive climate has been shown to create greater job satisfaction and pride in work, greater collaboration and creativity. Having an awareness of the effects of personal style, is therefore an essential part of a leaders toolkit and something every leader should have awareness of

In practice

Delivering health and care is highly complex and effective leadership calls for a match of style and approach to context and presenting challenge. Leadership styles is not a neat category of things, the increasingly interconnected world with ever-evolving technology has dictated a need for leaders who can adapt effortlessly as the situation dictates. Daniel Goleman 21 likens leading to being a golfer—one game but choosing the right club, at the right moment, for the next shot. Lets think about what this could look like: again, thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic the deteriorating clinical condition requires a leader who draws on all their experience, interprets the situation, takes control and ‘tells’ in order to get the best outcome for the patient—transactional and it’s wholly appropriate. At other times, that same leader will need to take time to build relationships and coach others in order to give the best care possible.

We all have a natural tendency towards our preferred style and when under pressure, there is evidence that we ‘revert to type’, relying on the most comfortable part of our personality to see us though. Unfortunately this means using fewer of the leadership skills that usually provide balance. Skilful, mature leadership is about leading ourselves as much as leading others. This level of understanding our style helps us recognise triggers that support adopting the right style for the given situation.

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Different situations require different leadership style and each style can be considered a tool in itself. How we lead needs to be a combination of concern for the task in hand and also the people undertaking it, as both individuals and collectively as teams. We have looked briefly at small number of the plethora theories and styles that can help us understand how we lead. Leaders who understand themselves and can move effortlessly between a range of styles in response to changing situations have been found to have more positive outcomes for their teams and patients.

  • Stogdill RM
  • Lippitt R ,
  • Carlyle T ,
  • Tannenbaum R ,
  • Blanchard K
  • Thompson G ,
  • Wheatley M ,
  • KornFerry Hay Group
  • Newstrom JW ,
  • Griffin MA ,

Twitter @clarepricedowd

Contributors CFJP-D completed all part of this paper:

Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Competing interests None declared.

Patient consent for publication Not required.

Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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How to Develop Your Leadership Style

  • Suzanne J. Peterson,
  • Robin Abramson,
  • R.K. Stutman

essay on leadership styles

Bosses often sense that something is missing in an employee’s tool kit but can’t put a finger on what it is. They say something like “You need certain important intangibles” or “You don’t have enough gravitas,” but they fail to provide advice or guidance.

What they’re talking about is leadership style. In every interaction, we send signals to others that fall into two categories: power and attractiveness. Powerful markers are associated with confidence, competence, charisma, and influence but also arrogance, abrasiveness, and intimidation. Attractiveness markers are related to agreeableness, approachability, and likability but also diffidence, lack of confidence, and submissiveness. The more consistent our signals, the more distinctive our style.

This practical guide offers concrete advice for developing a dynamic and effective leadership style that draws from both types of markers for maximum impact.

Concrete advice for a squishy challenge

Idea in Brief

The problem.

Bosses often sense that something is lacking in an employee’s tool kit but can’t put a finger on what it is. They say something like “You’re missing important intangibles” or “You need more gravitas” but fail to provide advice or guidance.

The Research

What they’re talking about is leadership style. In every interaction, we send signals to others about our power and status. The more consistent we are in our signals, the more distinctive our style becomes.

The Approach

This practical guide offers concrete advice for developing a dynamic and effective leadership style, including tips such as what volume and pace to use in your speech, whether to take notes in a meeting, and how and when to interrupt others.

Few things are more frustrating for talented professionals than hitting a ceiling in their careers because they lack the appropriate leadership style. A boss senses that something is missing in a person’s tool kit but can’t put a finger on exactly what it is or how the person can improve. The boss says something like “You’re lacking important intangibles” or “You need more gravitas” but fails to provide specific advice or tools for improving.

  • SP Suzanne J. Peterson is an associate professor of leadership at the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a partner at CRA, a leadership consulting and advisory firm.
  • RA Robin Abramson is a partner at the leadership consulting and advisory firm CRA and the cohead of its leadership practice.
  • RS R.K. Stutman is the managing partner of the leadership consulting and advisory firm CRA and founder of the Admired Leadership Institute.

essay on leadership styles

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How to Lead: 6 Leadership Styles and Frameworks

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

essay on leadership styles

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

essay on leadership styles

Aaron Johnson is a fact checker and expert on qualitative research design and methodology. 

essay on leadership styles

Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic)

Participative leadership (democratic).

  • Delegative Leadership (Laissez-Faire)

Transformational Leadership

Transactional leadership, situational leadership.

Leadership styles are classifications of how a person behaves while directing, motivating, guiding, and managing groups of people. There are many leadership styles. Some of the most widely discussed include: authoritarian (autocratic), participative (democratic), delegative (laissez-faire), transformational, transactional, and situational.

Great leaders can inspire political movements and social change. They can also motivate others to perform, create, and innovate. As you start to consider some of the people who you think of as great leaders , you can immediately see that there are often vast differences in how each person leads.

Fortunately, researchers have developed different theories and frameworks that allow us to better identify and understand these different leadership styles.

Lewin's Leadership Styles

In 1939, a group of researchers led by psychologist Kurt Lewin set out to identify different styles of leadership.   While further research has identified more distinct types of leadership, this early study was very influential and established three major leadership styles that have provided a springboard for more defined leadership theories.

In Lewin's study, schoolchildren were assigned to one of three groups with an authoritarian, democratic, or laissez-faire leader. The children were then led in an arts and crafts project while researchers observed the behavior of children in response to the different styles of leadership. The researchers found that democratic leadership tended to be the most effective at inspiring followers to perform well.

Authoritarian leaders, also known as autocratic leaders, provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how it should be done. This style of leadership is strongly focused on both command by the leader and control of the followers. There is also a clear division between the leader and the members. Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently, with little or no input from the rest of the group.

Researchers found that decision-making was less creative under authoritarian leadership.   Lewin also concluded that it is harder to move from an authoritarian style to a democratic style than vice versa. Abuse of this method is usually viewed as controlling, bossy, and dictatorial.

Mental Health in the Workplace Webinar

On May 19, 2022, Verywell Mind hosted a virtual Mental Health in the Workplace webinar, hosted by Amy Morin, LCSW. If you missed it, check out  this recap  to learn ways to foster supportive work environments and helpful strategies to improve your well-being on the job.

Authoritarian leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgeable member of the group. The autocratic approach can be a good one when the situation calls for rapid decisions and decisive actions. However, it tends to create dysfunctional and even hostile environments, often pitting followers against the domineering leader.

Lewin’s study found that participative leadership, also known as democratic leadership, is typically the most effective leadership style. Democratic leaders offer guidance to group members, but they also participate in the group and allow input from other group members. In Lewin’s study, children in this group were less productive than the members of the authoritarian group, but their contributions were of a higher quality.

Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say in the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative. Democratic leaders tend to make followers feel like they are an important part of the team, which helps foster commitment to the goals of the group.

Delegative Leadership (Laissez-Faire)

Lewin found that children under delegative leadership, also known as laissez-faire leadership, were the least productive of all three groups. The children in this group also made more demands on the leader, showed little cooperation, and were unable to work independently.

Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave the decision-making up to group members. While this style can be useful in situations involving highly qualified experts, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.

Lewin noted that laissez-faire leadership tended to result in groups that lacked direction and members who blamed each other for mistakes, refused to accept personal responsibility, made less progress, and produced less work.

Observations About Lewin's Leadership Styles

In their book,  The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications , Bass and Bass note that authoritarian leadership is often presented solely in negative, often disapproving, terms. Authoritarian leaders are often described as controlling and close-minded, yet this overlooks the potential positives of stressing rules, expecting obedience, and taking responsibility.

While authoritarian leadership certainly is not the best choice for every situation, it can be effective and beneficial in cases where followers need a great deal of direction and where rules and standards must be followed to the letter. Another often overlooked benefit of the authoritarian style is the ability to maintain a sense of order.

Bass and Bass note that democratic leadership tends to be centered on the followers and is an effective approach when trying to maintain relationships with others. People who work under such leaders tend to get along well, support one another, and consult other members of the group when making decisions.

Additional Leadership Styles and Models

In addition to the three styles identified by Lewin and his colleagues, researchers have described numerous other characteristic patterns of leadership. A few of the best-known include:

Transformational leadership is often identified as the single most effective style. This style was first described during the late 1970s and later expanded upon by researcher Bernard M. Bass. Transformational leaders are able to motivate and inspire followers and to direct positive changes in groups.

These leaders tend to be emotionally intelligent , energetic, and passionate. They are not only committed to helping the organization achieve its goals, but also to helping group members fulfill their potential.

Research shows that this style of leadership results in higher performance and more improved group satisfaction than other leadership styles. One study also found that transformational leadership led to improved well-being among group members.

The transactional leadership style views the leader-follower relationship as a transaction. By accepting a position as a member of the group, the individual has agreed to obey the leader. In most situations, this involves the employer-employee relationship, and the transaction focuses on the follower completing required tasks in exchange for monetary compensation.

One of the main advantages of this leadership style is that it creates clearly defined roles. People know what they are required to do and what they will be receiving in exchange. This style allows leaders to offer a great deal of supervision and direction, if needed.

Group members may also be motivated to perform well to receive rewards. One of the biggest downsides is that the transactional style tends to stifle creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Situational theories of leadership stress the significant influence of the environment and the situation on leadership. Hersey and Blanchard's leadership styles is one of the best-known situational theories. First published in 1969, this model describes four primary styles of leadership, including:

  • Telling : Telling people what to do
  • Selling : Convincing followers to buy into their ideas and messages
  • Participating : Allowing group members to take a more active role in the decision-making process
  • Delegating : Taking a hands-off approach to leadership and allowing group members to make the majority of decisions

Later, Blanchard expanded upon the original Hersey and Blanchard model to emphasize how the developmental and skill level of learners influences the style that should be used by leaders. Blanchard's SLII leadership styles model also described four different leading styles:

  • Directing : Giving orders and expecting obedience, but offering little guidance and assistance
  • Coaching : Giving lots of orders, but also lots of support
  • Supporting : Offering plenty of help, but very little direction
  • Delegating : Offering little direction or support

Lewin K, Lippitt R, White K. Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created “social climates” . J Soc Psychol. 1939;10(2):271-301.

Bass BM.   The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications . 4th Ed. Simon & Schuster; 2009.

Choi SL, Goh CF, Adam MB, Tan OK. Transformational leadership, empowerment, and job satisfaction: The mediating role of employee empowerment . Hum Resour Health. 2016;14(1):73. doi:10.1186/s12960-016-0171-2

Nielsen K, Daniels K. Does shared and differentiated transformational leadership predict followers’ working conditions and well-being? The Leadership Quarterly . 2012;23(3):383-397. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.09.001

Hussain S, Abbas J, Lei S, Haider MJ, Akram T. Transactional leadership and organizational creativity: Examining the mediating role of knowledge sharing behavior . Cogent Bus Manag. 2017;4(1). doi:10.1080/23311975.2017.1361663

Kark R, Van Dijk D, Vashdi DR. Motivated or demotivated to be creative: The role of self-regulatory focus in transformational and transactional leadership processes . Applied Psychology . 2017;67(1):186-224. doi:10.1111/apps.12122

Hersey P, Blanchard KH. Life cycle theory of leadership . Training and Development Journal . 1969;23(5).

Blanchard KH, Zigarmi P, Drea Zigarmi.   Leadership and the One Minute Manager: Increasing Effectiveness Through Situational Leadership . William Morrow, An Imprint Of HarperCollins; 2013.

Hersey P, Blanchard KH. Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources . Prentice Hall, 1969.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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How Your Leadership Style Impacts Your Business Goals Leading by example is so much more than having a leadership title.

By Chris Savage • Nov 20, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Be curious.
  • Be intentional.
  • These two traits will have a lasting impression on your team and a direct impact on your organization's culture.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There's a reason "lead by example" is such a common piece of advice. Look at any well-known figure in society, and you can see the impact they have on others. From celebrities to CEOs of global companies, the way they show up dictates how others around them behave.

I believe leading by example is the only way to lead; it's how I lead at Wistia. My approach to leadership is guided by two concepts: being curious to inspire continuous improvement and being intentional in everything I do.

Here's how I think about these attributes in a leader and their impact on an organization and its people.

Related: How True Leaders Create More Leaders — Not Followers

Curiosity can be described as "questioning everything," and this is best done when it comes from a place of genuine interest. Why is something working so well (so we can do more of it)? Why is something not working how you want it to (so we can improve it)?

Asking questions to understand better how something works (or doesn't work) is a critical part of leadership. Consider, for example, the extremely powerful question of "what if?" Though a simple phrase, it can open doors to deeper and more engaging conversations to explore new ideas or angles of what could be.

Let's acknowledge the elephant in the room: Can you, as the leader, be taken seriously when asking questions? Short answer: Yes. I think the strongest leaders are those continuously looking for new information or different viewpoints.

Being effectively curious (and not just asking questions for the sake of asking questions) requires self-awareness and paying attention to your instincts. What does your gut tell you when you hear about a challenge or an opportunity? I admit that learning to listen to my gut took time and practice, but trusting your instincts is part of what creates a strong leader.

Speaking of questions, be honest with yourself when you don't know the answer. Admit to having more questions and work with your team to seek out the answer(s). What might be the answer today might not be the answer in a year, so remember to clearly and consistently communicate organizational goals so everyone is aligned on the target.

Being curious is a critical trait. We look for curiosity in our team members — I want our team to challenge our ideas and help us think bigger and differently. Asking questions of yourself and others is the only way to continuously learn and evolve.

Related: Are You a Leader Loyal to Your Values? Here's How to Align Your Leadership Style With Your Values

Be intentional

I believe good leadership has a direct correlation to being authentic . How I show up and how I do things dictates how others are showing up and doing their work, as well. I mentioned it before — people in any leadership role or capacity will set the tone for others. So, how are you setting the tone in your organization?

This matters in both a physical and virtual sense, especially if your organization operates in any sort of hybrid or remote environment.

Here's a good exercise to check yourself and see how you show up.

  • Your meeting presence — Are you talking too much? Are you actively listening ? Do you give others time and encourage them to share?
  • Your schedule — Do you allow meetings to run over? Are you late for meetings? Are you early or on time?
  • Preparation — Do you come to your meetings with an agenda? Do you communicate goals and intentions with each meeting?
  • Communication — Are you sending emails at all hours? Are you scheduling messages to go out during working hours, even when working late?
  • Support and praise — Do you support and praise others frequently and openly? Do you reserve praise for reviews or feedback-driven conversations?

Related: 5 Tips to Amplify the Way You Conduct Meetings

In each of these exercises, there's an important note of intentionality:

  • Meeting presence — Though you are at the top of your company's organization chart, pause and let the experts talk and share opinions. Your knowledge as a CEO means your expertise is likely different from that of someone in marketing, sales or product development. Be intentional in listening.
  • Your schedule — If you allow meetings to run over, other meetings will, too. And everyone is familiar with the trickle-down effect; one meeting is 2 minutes late, which means the next meeting starts 3 minutes late, and so on. Be intentional with everyone's time.
  • Preparation - We've all been to meetings with no clear goal or direction; there's a reason "this meeting should have been an email" has become a funny saying on mugs and the focus of so many memes. If you're not clear on the purpose of a meeting or show up without an agenda, others will do the same. Meetings will be ineffective, and decisions won't get made. Be intentional in how you run meetings.
  • Communication - If your organization's operating hours are from 9-5, respect it. Avoid messaging or emailing off-hours unless it's an emergency. People notice when you send emails or Slack messages at odd hours, even if it's only occasionally. Be intentional in when and how you communicate.
  • Support and praise - When I applaud someone for a job well done, I notice others are more willing to applaud other team members' work, too. And when I take advantage of our untracked vacation time, others do, too. Be intentional with your feedback.

As I mentioned before, being in a leadership role means you unintentionally set the tone for appropriate behavior. But this unintentional mimicking of behavior has a dark side, too; look at Apple. There's a drastic difference in leadership styles between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook , and the leadership style directly impacts the organization's direction, tone and culture.

This is why I intentionally share company goals and reiterate them at the start of every all-hands meeting. Repetition is key to ensuring everyone knows our goals and those goals remain top-of-mind in our day-to-day activities.

Related: This Leadership Style Is Redefining Success in the Modern Business World

Intentionally choose curiosity

Leading by example is so much more than having a leadership title. It's important to remember that your organization's culture is reflective of how you choose to lead. Be curious to seek out new ideas and opportunities. Try new things and learn from your mistakes to continuously improve, doing better next time.

Follow your instincts and be intentional in how you show up. This has a lasting impression on your team and a direct impact on your organization's culture.

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO and cofounder of Wistia

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What is leadership?

" "

All leaders, to a certain degree, do the same thing. Whether you’re talking about an executive, manager, sports coach, or schoolteacher, leadership is about guiding and impacting outcomes, enabling groups of people to work together to accomplish what they couldn’t do working individually. In this sense, leadership is something you do, not something you are. Some people in formal leadership positions are poor leaders, and many people exercising leadership have no formal authority. It is their actions, not their words, that inspire trust and energy.

Get to know and directly engage with senior McKinsey experts on leadership

Aaron De Smet is a senior partner in McKinsey’s New Jersey office, Carolyn Dewar is a senior partner in the Bay Area office, Scott Keller is a senior partner in the Southern California office, and Vik Malhotra and Ramesh Srinivasan are senior partners in the New York office.

What’s more, leadership is not something people are born with—it is a skill you can learn. At the core are mindsets, which are expressed through observable behaviors , which then lead to measurable outcomes. Is a leader communicating effectively or engaging others by being a good listener? Focusing on behaviors lets us be more objective when assessing leadership effectiveness. The key to unlocking shifts in behavior is focusing on mindsets, becoming more conscious about our thoughts and beliefs, and showing up with integrity as our full authentic selves.

There are many contexts and ways in which leadership is exercised. But, according to McKinsey analysis of academic literature as well as a survey of nearly 200,000 people in 81 organizations all over the world, there are four types of behavior that account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness :

  • being supportive
  • operating with a strong results orientation
  • seeking different perspectives
  • solving problems effectively

Effective leaders know that what works in one situation will not necessarily work every time. Leadership strategies must reflect each organization’s context and stage of evolution. One important lens is organizational health, a holistic set of factors that enable organizations to grow and succeed over time. A situational approach  enables leaders to focus on the behaviors that are most relevant as an organization becomes healthier.

Senior leaders must develop a broad range of skills to guide organizations. Ten timeless topics are important for leading nearly any organization, from attracting and retaining talent  to making culture a competitive advantage. A 2017 McKinsey book, Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths (Bloomsbury, 2017), goes deep on each aspect.

How is leadership evolving?

In the past, leadership was called “management,” with an emphasis on providing technical expertise and direction. The context was the traditional industrial economy command-and-control organization, where leaders focused exclusively on maximizing value for shareholders. In these organizations, leaders had three roles: planners (who develop strategy, then translate that strategy into concrete steps), directors (who assign responsibilities), or controllers (who ensure people do what they’ve been assigned and plans are adhered to).

What are the limits of traditional management styles?

Traditional management was revolutionary in its day and enormously effective in building large-scale global enterprises that have materially improved lives over the past 200 years. However, with the advent of the 21st century, this approach is reaching its limits.

For one thing, this approach doesn’t guarantee happy or loyal managers or workers. Indeed, a large portion of American workers—56 percent— claim their boss is mildly or highly toxic , while 75 percent say dealing with their manager is the most stressful part of their workday.

For 21st-century organizations operating in today’s complex business environment, a fundamentally new and more effective approach to leadership is emerging. Leaders today are beginning to focus on building agile, human-centered, and digitally enabled organizations able to thrive in today’s unprecedented environment and meet the needs of a broader range of stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, and communities, in addition to investors).

What is the emerging new approach to leadership?

This new approach to leadership is sometimes described as “ servant leadership .” While there has been some criticism of the nomenclature, the idea itself is simple: rather than being a manager directing and controlling people, a more effective approach is for leaders to be in service of the people they lead. The focus is on how leaders can make the lives of their team members easier—physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Research suggests this mentality can enhance both team performance and satisfaction.

In this new approach, leaders practice empathy, compassion, vulnerability, gratitude, self-awareness, and self-care. They provide appreciation and support, creating psychological safety so their employees are able to collaborate, innovate, and raise issues as appropriate. This includes celebrating achieving the small steps on the way to reaching big goals and enhancing people’s well-being through better human connections. These conditions have been shown to allow for a team’s best performance.

More broadly, developing this new approach to leadership can be expressed as making five key shifts that include, build on, and extend beyond traditional approaches:

  • beyond executive to visionary, shaping a clear purpose that resonates with and generates holistic impact for all stakeholders
  • beyond planner to architect, reimagining industries and innovating business systems that are able to create new levels of value
  • beyond director to catalyst, engaging people to collaborate in open, empowered networks
  • beyond controller to coach, enabling the organization to constantly evolve through rapid learning, and enabling colleagues to build new mindsets, knowledge, and skills
  • beyond boss to human, showing up as one’s whole, authentic self

Together, these shifts can help a leader expand their repertoire and create a new level of value for an organization’s stakeholders. The last shift is the most important, as it is based on developing a new level of consciousness and awareness of our inner state. Leaders who look inward  and take a journey of genuine self-discovery make profound shifts in themselves and their lives; this means they are better able to benefit their organization. That involves developing “profile awareness” (a combination of a person’s habits of thought, emotions, hopes, and behavior in different circumstances) and “state awareness” (the recognition of what’s driving a person to take action). Combining individual, inward-looking work with outward-facing actions can help create lasting change.

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Leaders must learn to make these five shifts at three levels : transforming and evolving personal mindsets and behaviors; transforming teams to work in new ways; and transforming the broader organization by building new levels of agility, human-centeredness, and value creation into the entire enterprise’s design and culture.

An example from the COVID-19 era offers a useful illustration of this new approach to leadership. In pursuit of a vaccine breakthrough, at the start of the pandemic Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel increased the frequency of executive meetings  from once a month to twice a week. The company implemented a decentralized model enabling teams to work independently and deliver on the bold goal of providing 100 million doses of vaccines in 12 months. “The pace was unprecedented,” Bancel said.

What is the impact of this new approach to leadership?

This new approach to leadership is far more effective. While the dynamics are complex, countless studies show empirical links among effective leadership, employee satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability.

How can leaders empower employees?

Empowering employees , surprisingly enough, might mean taking a more hands-on leadership approach. Organizations whose leaders successfully empower others through coaching are nearly four times more likely to make swift, good decisions and outperform other companies . But this type of coaching isn’t always natural for those with a more controlling or autocratic style.

Here are five tips to get started  if you’re a leader looking to empower others:

  • Provide clear rules, for example, by providing guardrails for what success looks like and communicating who makes which decisions. Clarity and boundary structures like role remits and responsibilities help to contain any anxiety associated with work and help teams stay focused on their primary tasks.
  • Establish clear roles, say, by assigning one person the authority to make certain decisions.
  • Avoid being a complicit manager—for instance, if you’ve delegated a decision to a team, don’t step in and solve the problem for them.
  • Address culture and skills, for instance, by helping employees learn how to have difficult conversations.
  • Begin soliciting personal feedback from others, at all levels of your organization, on how you are experienced as a leader.

How can leaders communicate effectively?

Good, clear communication is a leadership hallmark. Fundamental tools of effective communication  include:

  • defining and pointing to long-term goals
  • listening to and understanding stakeholders
  • creating openings for dialogue
  • communicating proactively

And in times of uncertainty, these things are important for crisis communicators :

  • give people what they need, when they need it
  • communicate clearly, simply, and frequently
  • choose candor over charisma
  • revitalize a spirit of resilience
  • distill meaning from chaos
  • support people, teams, and organizations to build the capability for self-sufficiency

Learn more about our People & Organizational Performance Practice .

Is leadership different in a hybrid workplace?

A leader’s role may look slightly different in remote or hybrid workplace settings . Rather than walking around a physical site, these leaders might instead model what hybrid looks like, or orchestrate work based on tasks, interactions, or purpose. Being communicative and radiating positivity  can go a long way. Leaders need to find other ways to be present and accessible, for example, via virtual drop-in sessions, regular company podcasts, or virtual townhalls. Leaders in these settings may also need to find new ways to get authentic feedback. These tactics can include pulse surveys or learning to ask thoughtful follow-up questions that reveal useful management insights.

Additional considerations, such as making sure that in-person work and togetherness has a purpose, are important. Keeping an eye on inclusivity in hybrid work  is also crucial. Listening to what employees want, with an eye to their lived experience, will be vital to leaders in these settings. And a focus on output, outcomes, results, and impact—rather than arbitrary norms about time spent in offices— may be a necessary adaptation in the hybrid era .

How should CEOs lead in this new world?

Just as for leadership more broadly, today’s environment requires CEOs to lead very differently. Recent research indicates that one-third to one-half of new CEOs fail within 18 months.

What helps top performers thrive today? To find out, McKinsey led a research effort to identify the CEOs who achieved breakaway success. We examined 20 years’ worth of data on 7,800 CEOs—from 3,500 public companies across 70 countries and 24 industries. The result is the McKinsey book CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest (Scribner, March 2022). Watch an interview with the authors for more on what separates the best CEOs from the rest .

Getting perspective on leadership from CEOs themselves is enlightening—and illustrates the nuanced ways in which the new approach to leadership described above can be implemented in practice. Here are a few quotes drawn from McKinsey’s interviews with these top-level leaders :

  • “I think the fundamental role of a leader is to look for ways to shape the decades ahead, not just react to the present, and to help others accept the discomfort of disruptions to the status quo.” — Indra Nooyi , former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
  • “The single most important thing I have to do as CEO is ensure that our brand continues to be relevant.” — Chris Kempczinski , CEO of McDonald’s
  • “Leaders of other enterprises often define themselves as captains of the ship, but I think I’m more the ship’s architect or designer. That’s different from a captain’s role, in which the route is often fixed and the destination defined.” — Zhang Ruimin , CEO of Haier
  • “I think my leadership style [can be called] ‘collaborative command.’ You bring different opinions into the room, you allow for a really great debate, but you understand that, at the end of the day, a decision has to be made quickly.” — Adena Friedman , CEO of Nasdaq
  • “We need an urgent refoundation of business and capitalism around purpose and humanity. To find new ways for all of us to lead so that we can create a better future, a more sustainable future.” — Hubert Joly , former chairman and CEO of Best Buy

What is leadership development?

Leaders aren’t born; they learn to lead over time. Neuroplasticity refers to the power of the brain to form new pathways and connections through exposure to novel, unfamiliar experiences. This allows adults to adapt, grow, and learn new practices throughout our lifetimes.

When it comes to leadership within organizations, this is often referred to as leadership development. Programs, books, and courses on leadership development abound, but results vary.

Leadership development efforts fail for a variety of reasons. Some overlook context; in those cases, asking a simple question (something like “What, precisely, is this program for?”) can help. Others separate reflections on leadership from real work, or they shortchange the role of adjusting leaders’ mindsets, feelings, assumptions, and beliefs, or they fail to measure results.

So what’s needed for successful leadership development? Generally, developing leaders is about creating contexts where there is sufficient psychological safety in combination with enough novelty and unfamiliarity to cultivate new leadership practices in response to stimuli. Leadership programs that successfully cultivate leaders are also built around “placescapes”—these are novel experiences, like exploring wilderness trails, practicing performing arts, or writing poetry.

When crafting a leadership development program, there are six ingredients to incorporate  that lead to true organizational impact:

  • Set up for success:
  • Focus your leadership transformation on driving strategic objectives and initiatives.
  • Commit the people and resources needed.
  • Be clear about focus:
  • Engage a critical mass of leaders to reach a tipping point for sustained impact.
  • Zero in on the leadership shifts that drive the greatest value.
  • Execute well:
  • Architect experiential journeys to maximize shifts in mindsets, capabilities, and practices.
  • Measure for holistic impact.

A well-designed and executed leadership development program can help organizations build leaders’ capabilities broadly, at scale. And these programs can be built around coaching, mentoring, and having people try to solve challenging problems—learning skills by applying them in real time to real work.

What are mentorship, sponsorship, and apprenticeship?

Mentorship, sponsorship, and apprenticeship can also be part of leadership development efforts. What are they? Mentorship refers to trusted counselors offering guidance and support on various professional issues, such as career progression. Sponsorship is used to describe senior leaders who create opportunities to help junior colleagues succeed. These roles are typically held by more senior colleagues, whereas apprenticeship could be more distributed. Apprenticeship  describes the way any colleague with domain expertise might teach others, model behaviors, or transfer skills. These approaches can be useful not only for developing leaders but also for helping your company upskill or reskill employees quickly and at scale.

For more in-depth exploration of these topics, see McKinsey’s insights on People & Organizational Performance . Learn more about McKinsey’s Leadership & Management  work—and check out job opportunities if you’re interested in working at McKinsey.

Articles referenced include:

  • “ Author Talks: What separates the best CEOs from the rest? ,” December 15, 2021, Carolyn Dewar , Scott Keller , and Vik Malhotra
  • “ From the great attrition to the great adaptation ,” November 3, 2021, Aaron De Smet  and Bill Schaninger
  • “ The boss factor: Making the world a better place through workplace relationships ,” September 22, 2020, Tera Allas  and Bill Schaninger
  • " Leading agile transformation: The new capabilities leaders need to build 21st century organizations ," October 1, 2018, Aaron De Smet , Michael Lurie , and Andrew St. George
  • " Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths ," 2017, Scott Keller  and Mary Meaney
  • “ Leadership in context ,” January 1, 2016, Michael Bazigos, Chris Gagnon, and Bill Schaninger
  • “ Decoding leadership: What really matters ,” January 1, 2015, Claudio Feser, Fernanda Mayol, and Ramesh Srinivasan

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CEO Excellence

Leadership Essay

27 August, 2020

12 minutes read

Author:  Richard Pircher

As a college student, you must write essays on a regular basis since the latter is one of the most common types of home assignments. All this means is that in order to get good grades and be successful with writing the papers, you need to have a sound understanding of the structure. Additionally, what you should never neglect is the variety of essay types. Indeed, your essay will significantly differ from one type to another: description essay will most likely have a structure that is slightly different from an argumentative one.

Leadership Essays

What you may have already encountered in your academic life is the work on a leadership essay. Although it sounds pretty complicated and vague, it is mostly possible to master an essay on leadership. Below is a guide for you to get an insight into this particular essay type.

What is a good leadership essay?

A good leadership essay is the one in which the essay writer has fully covered the topic of leadership and understood its core ideas. More specifically, to end up with a flawless leadership essay, you will need to indicate what makes a person a good leader. For achieving the latter, you will most likely need to conduct research and trace how a particular person reaches his or her goals. In other words, the task is to discover which actions the person undertakes, what their followers say about him or her, and how the person organizes the work. So, a leadership essay implies providing real-life success examples and further revealing them.

Above all, a good leadership essay is the one that follows a precise, clear, comprehensive structure. Structuring your essay about leadership in the most coherent way leads to a win-win situation: you have fewer troubles and barriers to writing a brilliant essay, and your teacher is able to comprehend the essay easily. This guide is what you will need to refer to to get an insight into how the flawless structure for a leadership essay looks like and how it will let you take a benefit.

How to write a Leadership essay?

To write a leadership essay that stands out, you first need to brainstorm all the ideas that you have and come up with a topic for your essay. If you are struggling with this step, you may think of some of the most influential people, read about them, and find out what makes them unique. Or, you can pick any topic which is mentioned at the end of this article. After you have chosen an issue, it is time to structure your essay appropriately.

how to write a leadership essay example

As you already know, an essay constitutes three essential sections: introduction, main body, and conclusion. Below is the more detailed description of each of the parts.


Of course, your leadership essay introduction will always vary depending on the topic of the essay. However, you can always begin by stating your vision of leadership regardless of the topic. Additionally, to motivate the reader and instantly catch his or her attention, you may use a quote of a famous leader, or simply a quote which you find relevant to the topic. Be aware that you should avoid outlining the essence and the role of the leadership in your introduction; leave it for the body paragraphs.

What you may also do in your leadership essay is ask a question, which will most likely intrigue the leader. Or it will at least give your reader an overview of what you will dwell on  in your essay.

Body Paragraphs

You will need to divide the main body into 3-5 paragraphs to make the structure more comprehensive. What you have to do at this point  is  give your reader a sound understanding of your ideas. Therefore, try to fit each idea in a single body paragraph so that you do not confuse your reader. Do not hesitate to indicate your examples to strengthen your arguments. For instance, you may explain a fact that makes a particular person you are writing about a real leader.

Also, always stick to your thesis statement and don’t forget that the body paragraphs should reveal the parts of your thesis statement.

As you may already know, you need to restate your opinion and briefly summarize all the points from the main body in conclusion. For instance, if you wrote your essay on qualities of an effective leader, state the most fundamental qualities and indicate why they matter the most. Besides, try not to copy what you have already written in the body – it is better to restate your opinion using different words. And, of course, beware adding any new and extra information; indicate only those points that you have already outlined in the text. Finally, keep in mind that it is always favorable to keep your concluding remarks short.

leadership essay

Leadership Essay Examples

Writing a leadership essay requires some research and time. In case you feel the necessity to go through an essay example, below is a leadership essay sample you can refer to.

Is leadership an inborn or an acquired feature?

Is everyone capable of becoming a leader, or is this ability innate? A lot of researchers have been struggling to answer this question. One assumption about leadership implies that the leader is the person who possesses particular characteristics. Another assumption claims that leaders are capable of acquiring specific features over their life span. As the evidence shows, leaders own many features that distinguish them among others and make more and more people become their followers. These might be cognitive abilities, psychological traits, professional qualities, and a lot more, and all of them will be either acquired or innate. Based on the importance of leadership qualities, such as commitment, stress resistance, and the ability to make quality decisions, it is reasonable to claim that leaders are made, not born. 

One can deem commitment as one of the top fundamental qualities of the leader. In essence, such a feature indicates that a person is passionate about the common goal, strives to be a team player, and makes every effort to reach a shared goal. As the history shows, none of the successful companies was uncoordinated by an influential, committed leader: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft – all of these companies are examples of dominant teams led by a dedicated leader. A committed leader also inspires his or her team to achieve common goals and put more effort into the shared activity. Besides, commitment is unlikely to be an innate feature; it instead comes with experience. This is so, since commitment implies dedicating oneself to the shared task, and one can reach it only via learning and continuous self-improvement.

Stress resistance is another incredibly important feature that every good leader should possess. This is because only a stress-resistant leader has sufficient capabilities to overcome any complexity and not let the anxiety and stress prevent him or her from making proper decisions. Besides, such a leader will most likely have a positive influence on the team, as long as leading by example will motivate the team members to attain the same emotional stability. What is so far familiar about stress resistance as an effective leader’s feature is that it can be either innate or attained. However, although some researchers admit that emotional stability is something one is born with, it is not entirely true; many people still put a great effort into self-improvement, changing the attitude to unfortunate situations, and so on. Therefore, being resistant to stress can be mostly attributed to a personality.

An ability to make high-quality decisions most likely determines the chances for an enterprise’s success. In particular, such quality is incredibly fundamental for a company of any size and professional orientation. Additionally, it is one of the top tasks of a good leader to make final decisions. What he or she should do implies brainstorming, discussing various opinions in the group, making forecasts, analyzing all the pros and cons. However, the leader is the one to make a final decision. Thereby, he is in charge of researching the market, discovering all the hidden truths, and analyzing the organization’s potential and capabilities to result in the most effective decision. As it flows logically from the latter, an ability to make sound quality decisions is purely a professional quality. This leads to the conclusion that one has to work hard to become a genuine leader and master the skill of making effective decisions. 

Overall, the leader may possess a multitude of different skills and master them perfectly. However, what has so far become transparent is that any leader, regardless of which team he leads, must possess three essential qualities. These qualities are commitment to the common goal, ability to handle and resist stress, and, finally, an ability to make effective decisions. All of the three qualities are most likely to be acquired over a lifetime. The statement below leads to the conclusion that even though some qualities can be innate, most are not the ones that leaders are born with. Hence, this answers an essential question: leadership feature is acquired, and not necessarily inborn.  

20 leadership essay topics

When coming up with your next leadership essay topic, it is imperative to brainstorm ideas and think of what leadership might be related to. If you are struggling with a topic of the importance of leadership essay or any relevant type of essay, you may quickly take a look at some of the possible topics we prepared for you:

  • What are the main qualities of the leader?
  • Successful Time Management as a feature of an effective leader
  • The role that rhetoric plays in leadership
  • The most exceptional leader in the history of the 20-th century
  • The role of female leadership
  • What are the challenges of the leader of the 21-st century?
  • How college helps students develop leadership skills?
  • Qualities of the leader that motivate people to follow them 
  • Top things to avoid doing to become a team leader
  • Examples of effective and ineffective leadership in the history
  • Top techniques for developing leadership skills
  • The interconnection of creativity and leadership 
  • Is a university’s role fundamental in developing leadership skills?
  • Dictatorship as an anti-example of leadership
  • Liberal vs Authoritative leadership: which one works better?
  • The influence of the leader’s role model on the followers’ mindset
  • Main difficulties that the new leader may face in a new team
  • Leadership of today vs leadership of the past: what has changed?
  • Reasons why I want to become a member if the leadership program
  • The role of cognitive abilities for the leader 

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Essays on Leadership for Students | 200 - 500 Word Essays

Are you writing an essay about leadership? Check out these examples!


Leadership is often defined as "the action of inspiring others to act in concert to achieve a particular goal." It signifies the harmony in actions that lead to a common objective. A genuine leader not only exudes confidence but also paves the way for their followers towards triumph. Over the years, various leadership styles have been identified and discussed by psychologists.

 Qualities such as intelligence, adaptability, extroversion, innate self-awareness, and social competence often emerge as the hallmarks of impactful leaders. There's a consensus that these traits mold an individual into an effective leader. Interestingly, some theories suggest that extraordinary situations can thrust an ordinary individual into the spotlight, bestowing upon them the mantle of leadership. It's also believed that leadership isn't a static trait but an evolving journey. It underscores the belief that with dedication and the right resources, anyone can hone their leadership abilities.

 True leadership goes beyond merely advocating for a cause. It involves taking responsibility, igniting motivation in others, and differentiating oneself from just being a 'boss'. A leader's essence lies in their ability to inspire and propel people towards grand visions, whereas a manager typically focuses on oversight and operational aspects.

 If you find yourself in need of further insights or a unique angle for your leadership essay, consider exploring an expert essay-writing tool designed to assist students in crafting compelling narratives by analyzing vast data and generating fresh ideas within minutes. In this article, we'll also delve into various leadership essay examples to offer a clearer understanding of the genre and inspire your writing journey.

4 Examples of Leadership Essays

Qualities of a good leader.

Confidence is the most important attribute first of all. One of the most important qualities in a leader is confidence in one's own abilities. A lack of self-assurance is fatal to a person's leadership potential. If you want others to follow you, you need to exude self-assurance. It's imperative for a leader to have faith in his own judgment and actions. How can people want to follow him if he doesn't even know what he's doing?

Every effective leader knows that they need to be an inspiration to their followers. A leader needs to set an example for his team. In addition, he ought to inspire them whenever feasible. A leader must also maintain optimism in trying times.

What qualities a good leader must have?

Leadership is the ability to influence and guide individuals or groups toward a common goal. A leader must possess several qualities to be effective, including:

Communication skills: A leader must be able to communicate their vision and goals clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. This requires excellent listening skills, empathy, and the ability to adapt to different communication styles.

Emotional intelligence: A leader must be able to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of their team members. This includes being able to understand and respond to the emotions of others, and handling conflicts in a constructive manner.

Visionary: A leader must have a clear and inspiring vision of the future, and be able to articulate this vision in a way that motivates others to work towards it.

Strategic thinking: A leader must be able to think critically and creatively to identify and solve problems, make decisions, and develop plans and strategies to achieve their goals.

Flexibility: A leader must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and be open to new ideas and perspectives. This requires the ability to embrace change, be innovative, and continuously learn and grow.

Integrity: A leader must have strong ethics and values, and be willing to make difficult decisions that are consistent with their beliefs. This requires honesty, transparency, and accountability.

Decisiveness: A leader must be able to make tough decisions quickly, without undue hesitation or procrastination. This requires courage and the ability to take calculated risks.

Empowerment: A leader must be able to delegate responsibilities, give team members the resources they need to succeed, and foster a sense of ownership and accountability among their team.


These qualities are essential for effective leadership, and when combined with hard work, determination, and a commitment to excellence, can help leaders to achieve great things.

How one can be a Great Leader?

Leadership is the act of performing the duties of a leader. In the business world, for instance, it is essential to have someone in charge of a team to ensure everything runs well. Effective leadership is essential for any group that wants to maximize its prospects of success.

Leadership Comes from Experience

As we've shown, leadership can be innate in some cases but is more often learned through practice and exposure. Sometimes the best traits of a leader must be learned over a lengthy period of time, so that one can become a notable one, proving that leadership is not always about a person's innate qualities. Leaders should continuously be on the lookout for opportunities to grow their leadership skills.

Nobody can disagree that experience is a key component of leadership. Numerous examples exist to back up this claim, such as:

Instance 1:

Our school's head boy or girl has traditionally been an older student who has been around for a while and thus has a better grasp of the ins and outs of school politics.

Instance 2:

When there is a vacancy for a team leader, it is common practice for the employee who has consistently put in the most effort and attention to the office job to receive a higher number of votes than their coworkers. 

“The best teacher for a leader is evaluated experience.” - John C. Maxwell

How one can be a Great Leader/Skills to be a Great Leader?

Effective leadership is a skill that develops through time. Developing into a leader with all the qualities that are needed takes a lot of hard work and potential. Being a prominent leader calls for a wide variety of traits. Some of these characteristics are addressed in further detail below:

One should be a Good Communicator

To be an effective leader, one must be able to convey his thoughts clearly to his/her/its subordinates.

Should have Confidence

The individual should have faith in what he says and does.

Give Credit to other Team Members too

A leader not only needs to impose his viewpoints and opinions instead he must also hear to the suggestions of other members of the team and offer them credit if their concept is appropriate.

Good Bond with the Team

A leader's ability to command respect from his team members depends on his ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with them.

Leads with Responsibility

A leader needs to be completely committed to his position. It's important that he takes on responsibility so that he can effectively deal with the various challenges he will inevitably face.

Any group or organization needs a leader above all else. Leadership development takes time and effort. One needs to have lived through a lot to be an effective leader. It's not enough to simply have years of experience in the field; one must also have the traits that make one an effective leader. You can't be a great leader unless you possess certain traits.

What makes a Good Leader?

Trying one's hand as a leader appears easy when viewed through this lens. Is that so tough? Of course not; leading is difficult, and not everyone aspires to be a leader. The vast majority of us have settled into well-established careers where we report to superiors and make a living. Still, not everyone is content to go along with the crowd. They become leaders in whatever field they pursue. A leader is an example to followers and will prioritize the needs of those around them.

Some Unique Qualities of a Leader

Many individuals resort to their leaders to vent their frustrations, therefore it's important for them to be good listeners.

A leader ought to be completely forthright; they can't play favorites or give anyone preferential treatment. One of the most essential qualities of a strong leader is the ability to make decisions with integrity.

They need to be aware of the bigger picture and understand what makes an individual stand out or become a leader. It's their expertise in addition to other distinguishing traits. Their awareness of current events and the results of recent studies is essential. In many ways, this is helpful, and it's the leader's responsibility to stay current.

Since some might not understand them, they should utilize straightforward, easily comprehended language. Leaders need to be able to communicate effectively at all times. In reality, what sets them apart is their exceptional communication skills. Adolf Hitler was such a gifted orator that his followers believed every word he said.

No matter how you're feeling or what's going on in the world, if you listen to a leader, they may make you feel energized. Since leaders are in charge of inspiring confidence in their followers, they can't afford to be wary or unsure of themselves. People tend to blindly follow their leaders.

Whether you're a leader or a doctor, you should devote yourself completely to your chosen field. Everything we do is for the benefit of others; engineers, for example, spend much of their time designing and constructing buildings for other people. So, take pride in what you do, and if you possess the aforementioned traits, you are also a leader who doesn't have to rely on others to succeed. No matter what you do, aspiring to leadership positions will always benefit others.

What is Leadership in Management and what are the weaknesses and strengths of a Leader?

Simply said, leadership is acting as a supervisor or manager of a group. Different mental pictures pop up when we hear the word "leadership" used in conversation. One might think of a political leader, team leader, corporate leader, school leader, etc. Leaders facilitate order and efficiency in the workplace. Teamwork and success are fundamental to effective leadership. Leaders utilize their managerial abilities to establish courses and guide their teams to success.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Leadership

Able to express oneself more clearly

Growth of character.


Possession of teamwork skills.

Gain assurance in yourself.


Acting favorably toward one's teammates.

Having no faith in the leader.

Thinks they're better than everyone else, but act hypocritically.

Not living up to the promised standard.

Insufficient morals.

Leadership and Management

Management and leadership are inextricably linked to one another. Leadership and management are both vital to the efficient operation of an organization; but, they accomplish very different things in the process. Leadership is a necessary skill for anyone aspiring to be an effective manager. The terms management and leadership are synonymous with one another. In this manner, we are able to draw the conclusion that a manager who demonstrates the traits of a successful leader is, in fact, a manager who is effective.

Leadership in School

Leadership is essential in nearly every group, as we've seen above. That group includes one's educational institution. Every school needs an outstanding figure to serve as its head of school. Class monitor, assembly captain, cultural leader, etc. are all examples of leadership roles that can be taken on at school, but this raises the question of what makes a person a successful school leader.

Any student hoping to be chosen as a student body leader will need to demonstrate a wide range of competencies. He or she needs to be a consistent student who pays attention in class and does well in extracurricular activities. For the simple reason that no intelligent and hardworking kid would ever be considered for leadership. Student leaders are most often selected from among those who participate fully in all activities.

Leadership in Organization

Leadership in an organization, also known as organizational leadership, is the process of establishing long-term objectives that further the company's mission and help it reach its ultimate destination. This is a classic illustration of how Bill Gates often works with his team: they agree on a strategy, and Gates implements it. To the same extent, it is the responsibility of the leader in each given organization to determine what it is that the group is trying to accomplish.

Leadership in Politics

Leadership in politics, also known as political leadership, is the process of becoming actively involved in a political party in the role of a party leader. Knowledge of political processes, their outcomes, and the political agenda is central to the idea of political leadership.

An effective leader can be developed in anyone who has the determination and drives to do so. Both the strengths and the areas for improvement should be nurtured. Whether in the classroom, the workplace, or the political arena, leadership is always necessary. Therefore, one can exercise leadership anywhere they like inside their own organization.

What are the types of Leadership?

The ability to lead is a rare trait that not everyone possesses. The ability to do so is a gift, so count your blessings if you possess it. It's recommended that you hone it even more so that you can propel your career forward and serve as an example to people around you. However, it is crucial to grasp the various leadership styles before you go ahead and polish your skills.

Types of Leadership Styles

Democratic Leadership

In this style of management, subordinates are given a voice in decision-making. Although the subordinates' efforts are highlighted, the leader is ultimately held responsible for the group's actions. Many people find this type of leadership to be effective.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders motivate and inspire others to adopt new behaviors and ways of thinking in order to improve their own performance and that of their teams and organizations. A transformational leader is someone who encourages their team to strive for greater things and works to boost morale and output.

Team Leadership

A good leader fully incorporates his team into the task at hand. Members of the team are motivated to reach their goals and advance in their careers thanks to the leadership of the group.

Strategic Leadership

It requires a chief executive who doesn't restrict himself to brainstorming sessions with his superiors. He contributes on every level of the team. He is well-liked for his ability to unite the need for fresh ideas with the necessity of grounding them in reality.

Autocratic Leadership

The leader in a command and control structure is the center of attention. The chief executive has absolute power in this setting. He decides things on his own, without polling his staff. He relays this information to his staff and stresses the importance of swift action. The buck stops with him, and he alone must answer for his actions. Not much room for negotiation exists. It's no secret that this method of leading has its detractors.

Visionary Leadership

This kind of leader appreciates the abilities and requirements of his team members. He describes his ideal outcome and the teamwork that will be necessary to attain it.

Coaching Leadership

Leaders who coach their teams do so regularly in an effort to raise output. He inspires his employees to do better and works to keep them motivated. This approach to leadership has been much praised.

Facilitative Leadership

With occasional guidance, a facilitative leader ensures that the process runs smoothly for his team. As a precaution in case his team is ineffective. If the team is highly effective, the leader will take a hands-off approach.

Cross-Cultural Leadership

The leadership of this type is necessary when interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds. Because of the wide variety of cultures represented in the workforce across the United States, many managers and executives hold cross-cultural positions.

Laissez-Faire Leadership

The members of the team are given responsibility in this style of management. They are free to choose how they spend their time at work, with minimal oversight from the boss. It's not a good way to lead, according to experts.

Transactional Leadership

An interactive approach is integral to this kind of leadership. When team members successfully implement their leader's ideas and choices, they are rewarded with immediate, material benefits.

Charismatic Leadership

In order to bring out the best in his followers, this kind of leader makes the effort to change their attitudes, values, and actions.

This article should dispel the notion that leadership qualities can't be further subdivided. It should also assist you in pinpointing your own personal brand of leadership so you can perfect it over time.

Final Words

In conclusion, leadership is a complex and multifaceted concept that involves various qualities and skills. Effective leaders possess traits such as integrity, vision, empathy, decisiveness, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. They are able to navigate challenges, make difficult decisions, and lead their team toward success. Leadership also involves continuous learning and self-improvement, as leaders must adapt to changing circumstances and remain relevant. Effective leadership can have a positive impact on both individuals and organizations, fostering growth and creating a culture of success.

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Essay about Leadership Styles

Essay about Leadership Styles


Leadership is all about influencing other people in the organization to accomplish a task. It involves directing an organization in that it becomes more coherent and cohesive. Leadership style can therefore be defined as approach for providing direction. It includes motivation.

There are various leadership styles that exist in management. They include authoritarian or autocratic, participative or democratic, delegative or free reign leadership. (Newstrom, 1997)Leadership is also described as directing people to do specific duties by influencing their personal behaviour through incentives and motivation, teamwork, individual dynamics and discipline. The core purpose of leadership is to channel all the employees’ behavior towards attaining the company’s objectives.

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Leadership is thus essential in creating and maintaining a healthy organizational culture within any business organization. Leading does not necessarily come from that in power but from any individual who provides information and suggestions on the way forward.Decision making within organizations rests on the shoulders of the managers and leaders in the institution who usually take risks whenever an issue that requires to be addressed arises. Leading aims at bringing change in an organization.

It also involves giving inspiration to people. In leadership there is a lot of motivation that is carried out. In any job, there comes a time when one feels like giving up, the drive to work is not there. At such moments employees need to be motivated to work. Leading is quite interpersonal in nature. It is not just the manager in an organization that is supposed to lead. It can even exist between employees. It has to do with mutual influence.

All these are normally based on different theories and assumptions. Any style that is incorporated in management can be based on combination of preferences, values and beliefs. Organizational culture also plays a big role in influencing the leadership style used by management. Leadership style used by management plays a big role in affecting the success of the organization.

A leader has to clearly understand the different types of leadership styles and their impacts on the organization. Good leadership always includes incorporation of all the leadership styles. Bad leadership just sticks to one style.

Authoritarian (Autocratic)

This is also called formal type of leadership. In this type of leadership, the leader simply tells employees how he or she wants the work done and what he wants employees to do without getting their views. This type of leadership is effective when the leader has all the information that is important or necessary to solve the problem. This style of leadership is not all about threatening employees or using abusive power.

It does not also involve the use of demeaning language. When this is done, it can be termed as bossing around. Leaders’ repertoire need not include this. (Newstrom, 1997)This style should just be used on rare occasions because when it dominates, the results are normally not the best.

When the leadership style has command and control, it always drains off the employees’ ambition. They simply become less motivated. This makes employees perceive manager as being bossy. This leadership style is used when managers in an organization want to have full power in decision making.

This leadership style is very essential especially when the time at hand is very minimal to incorporate employees’ views. Authoritarian leadership also includes leaders making all decisions. This means that it includes dominance on the part of the leader. Sometimes the leader gives detailed orders.

The followers or employees in this case are simply required to obey. (Newstrom, 1997)In autocratic leadership, there is high level of supervision. It follows polices very strictly and is characterized with authority motivation. There is instilling of fear in employees when this type of leadership is used.

This also creates a culture of dependency on the leader. According to research, when this leadership style is used, there is very low efficiency. There are various instances when autocratic leadership can be used in an organization. For example, it can be used on an employee who is new in an organization and is still learning more about the job.

In this case the leader has got more experience than the employee and therefore can make the best decision. On the other hand the employee has the desire to learn more and therefore can carry out all the instructions given by the leader. In such a situation, authoritarian leadership works very well. In the survey carried out, Mr. Grant applies authoritative kind of leadership.This is very evident from his answer given to question as to whether he allows the group to share his leadership power.

His answer was that he is only willing to share a small amount of his leadership power. This shows that most of the decisions are made Mr. Grant who was former Fleet manager. When asked how he would allow group members to decide what needs to be done, his answer shows his leadership style. He says that he is a decider. That he has learned over the years that one cannot go kick himself for decisions made.

He makes his decision based on information he has at the time.In case he makes a decision and then finds out that there was a better choice, he is willing to change his mind. This shows that his leadership style is quite autocratic in nature. This is because he makes decisions first and then later on he can seek for the second opinion.

The research shows that Mr. Grant scored thirty four points for being authoritative in his leadership. According to the survey Mr. Larry Davis scored twenty points in authoritarian. This shows that he can incorporate some minimal authoritarian leadership. For instance, he is comfortable allowing employees making decisions depending on their competency. This shows that he is not so much of an authoritarian but incorporates it on minimal basis. This can lead to positive results in the school or the organization.

Participative (Democratic)

Participative leadership involves other people on the decision making process. The leader in this case can include one of the employees when making decisions for the organization. (Newstrom, 1997)This involves making decisions concerning what should be done and how the tasks should be done in the organization.

This does not mean that the employees make the final decision. It means that the leader considers the contributions of the employees but comes up with a final decision. Research shows that using this style doesn’t mean that the manager or leader is weak. In most cases employees respect this kind of leadership.

This type of leadership is very essential when the leader or the manager doesn’t know everything concerning the situation. In most cases actually the manager doesn’t know everything. He or she may know part of the information and the employees have the other part. . (Newstrom, 1997)

Research shows that this leadership style always has better results or effects on an organization.  This style of leadership normally comes along with mutual benefits.  This is because it allows the employees in an organization to actually be part of the team. On the other hand the leader or the manager is in a position to make better decisions.

In such a case the leader feels he did the best at hand having had employees’ contributions and hence there is little room for regrets. (Kotter, 2000)In participative leadership, there is involves stakeholders like investors, superiors, peers and even subordinates. This mostly depends on the manager concerning who to consult in the specific decision making. (Newstrom, 1997)Different people can be consulted at different times.

The degree of influence on the decision making is mostly influenced by the leader himself. Sometimes a leader can give the employees full delegation of decision making depending on the situation at hand.Participative leadership can involve the leader simply selling the idea to the employees in the management. For instance the goals of an organization can be elaborated to the employees.

They in return help in giving tentative solutions on how the goals can be implemented. Participative leadership has got very many benefits as compared to the autocratic leadership. When leaders ask for views from employees they should not just do it for the sake of it, then fail to work upon it.

This is because it can lead to cynism. It can also perpetrate feelings of betrayal on the employees’ side. This type of leadership has its own disadvantages. This is very evident when there is wide range of opinions to be considered.

In this case coming up with the final decision becomes quite hard. (Sparrow and Hilltop, 1998)According to the survey carried out, all the respondents incorporate participative leadership. One of the respondents- Dr. Phyllis Luciano a Social Studies Content Leader showed her leadership style is highly participative.

For instance, when asked whether she can allow the group to share her leadership power, her answer reveals this. She answers that she can allow others in the group to share her leadership power.  The answer shows that she can allow group members to come with a solution for the situation but she evaluates the decision and in case she is not satisfied with it then she carries out the decision making on her own. Dr. Phyllis Luciano allows group members to decide what needs to be done. This statement clearly shows that she includes participative leadership.

Her answers show that she allows group members to decide how to accomplish a task. This she explains helps or provides the group members with the ownership of the task. She uses this type of leadership because it gives the group members a sense of self worth. This according to her helps employees to also feel respected and valued as part of the organization.

Table below shows the relationship between participation in an organization and decision making. Autocratic decision by leaderLeader proposes decision, listens to feedback, then decidesTeam proposes decision, leader has final decisionJoint decision with team as equalsFull delegation of decision to teamLeadership styles; retrieved from; personality100.com; accessed on 20-08-07.

The above table shows how participative leadership allows delegation of decision making to the group. In this table it is clearly illustrated that leadership can be highly participative or not participative at all. When it is highly participative the decision making is fully delegated to the group which can consist of employees in the organization. .

An analysis of Dr. Luciano’s leadership shows that it is highly participative. Participatory leadership is highly determined by the maturity of the group or the employees. When the employees are mature and experienced, participatory leadership can be highly incorporated by the management.

In participative leadership, the manager’s role is more of facilitative than directive in nature. Another positive effect of using this type of leadership is that it leads to cohesiveness in the team. The whole group works together rather than as individuals.Just like explained, different leadership styles can be incorporated in an organization.

From the results of the survey, it is very clear that all the respondents use various leadership styles in the organizations. (Newstrom, 1997) The degree to which Phyllis uses participatory leadership is higher than areas she uses authoritarian leadership. In this case the chances of coming up with better results is very high.This leadership style is also used by Dr. Victoria Pettis.

When asked whether she would allow group members to decide what needs to be done, she says that she uses a mixture of both. This is because, she explains that some decisions are best made at administrative level while there are others that she would need the employees’ perspective. In this case this answer shows that there instances when employees are consulted by Dr. Victoria Pettis.

Delegative (Free Reign)

This is also another leadership style that is always used by managers and leaders in organizations. This involves allowing employees to make the decisions at the work place. Decisions that are normally made are usually very diverse. They could include arrival time at the work place etc. This method is highly used when employees are in a position to analyze the situation at hand. (Kotter, 2000)This does not mean that the manager is not responsible for the decisions made.

He or she is actually responsible for decisions carried out even if the delegative style of leadership is used. Employees in this case are also able to solve the situation and they have the experience to carry out the decision making. In most of the instances, one finds that the employees are very skilled and quite qualified. Such employees could have worked in the organization for a good period of time.

They have the experience with the situations at hand. (Newstrom, 1997)In most of the instances where delegative or free reign leadership is used, the employees have gone through organizational learning and training and therefore they are fully equipped in handling most of the issues arising. Research shows that this method is very effective when the task is delegated to a specific group of people. This creates accountability than if it is so open to everyone.

This is because research shows that a manager or a leader in an organization cannot do everything by him or herself. (Newstrom, 1997)It is very clear that this leadership style is not incorporated for reasons of shifting blame for instance on the employees when things go wrong. On the other hand, it is a leadership style that is incorporated when there is confidence in the employees. This is whereby the manager or a leader for that case has trust that whatever responsibility will be handled to   the best of ability by the stakeholders.

Any leader who uses this type of leadership however has to use it very wisely since there are cases when it is really misused. When used to a large extent could lead to failure in an organization. (Newstrom, 1997) In delegation style of leadership, there is self motivation in employees. It allows much creativity on employees’ side because it actually gives opportunity to try out new ventures or solutions in accomplishing the tasks assignedResearch shows that this leadership functions well when incorporated with other leadership styles.

This leadership style acknowledges that the leader is never an expert in all areas or all fields. There are always employees who are more qualified in an area or so. (Kotter, 2000) In situations where manager is not exerting sufficient control, then it can also be referred to free reign leadership style. This leadership style is also referred to as Laissez fair leadership.

This is a French term that means leave it be. This implies that a leader lets the employees or the team to work on their own. This is without supervision etc. This type of leadership works when a leader in an organization has many duties and he or she is not always in the organization.

This also plays a major role in allowing employees to take ownership of the job. Employees in this case will always feel that they are part of the organization where they are working unlike when the vice versa is carried out.The graph below shows the relationship between leadership styles and management control. It also includes the relationship between leadership styles and employee control.

(Newstrom, 1997)This graph helps to clearly explain these relationships in a visual manner. Leadership styles; retrieved from; www.leadershipletters.com Accessed on 20-08-07The graph shows that when the autocratic style of leadership is used, there is used, there is high management control compared to employee control.

In the participative leadership, the employee control takes half the percentage while management control also takes half of the control. In the free reign style of leadership, there is high employee control in decision making. On the other hand, there is no management control or if it exists it is normally on a very minimal basis. This graph therefore gives a clear picture of the relationships between these leadership styles and employee and management control.

There is also the paternalistic style of leadership that is illustrated though this paper is not tackling this style of leadership. (Newstrom, 1997)According to the survey carried out, Dr Victoria Pettis uses delegative style of leadership. This is used in Hillsman Middle school. When asked whether she entrusts tasks to other members or she does it herself, she says that she entrusts tasks to other members in the school.

This shows that she incorporates delegation type of leadership. The survey research shows that Terry Grant also uses delegative type of leadership. This is evident from the answers given by this fleet manager. (Newstrom, 1997)  She understands that one delegates then it doesn’t mean that he or she has given up control.

She concurs that in order to enhance time management then delegating tasks and responsibilities is very important. She understands the importance of teaching employees how to do various tasks in an organization. This fleet manager understands that delegation is a long term investment. (Newstrom, 1997)

Leadership is a very important aspect in any organization. This is because it greatly determines the success therein. There are various leadership styles that can be incorporated in overall running of an organization. There is authoritarian leadership which involves telling the employees what needs to be done and how the task should be done.

This is very effective when employees are still new in an organization and they have no experience. In participative leadership, employees or other stakeholders are incorporated in the decision making process. It is normally very effective and makes employees to feel important in an organization. In delegative style of leadership, a leader entrusts decision making to employees.

This is effective when employees have experience and are qualified. Good leadership always incorporates some authoritarian, participative and delegative style of leadership.

  • Davis, L. ; Head Counsellor; Hilsman Middle School; 706 548 7281
  • Grant, T.; Former Fleet Manager; 404 516 0525
  • Leadership styles; retrieved from; www.leadershipletters.com Accessed on 20-08-07
  • Leadership styles; retrieved from; personality100. com; accessed on 20-08-07
  • Luciano, P.; Social Studies Content Leader; Bethune Middle School770 354 3352
  • Maundy, L. (2001): An Introduction to Human to Human Resource Management: TheoryAnd Practice: Macmillan, Palgrave
  • Newstrom, W. (1997): Organizational Behavior; Human Behavior at Work; New York: McGraw-Hill
  • Pettis, V. ; Assistant Principal; Hilsman Middle School; 706 548 7281 ext. 29202
  • Sparrow, P. and Hilltop, J. (1998): European Human Resource Management inTransition: Prentice Hall, New York
  • Thomson, C. and Rampton, L. (2003): Human Resource Management. Melbourne press, NewYork
  • Kotter, J. (2000):  A Force for Change; How Leadership Differs From Management

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Leadership Style, Essay Example

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I have confidence in myself but also try to remain aware of my limitations. I believe in working with others which may be why I prefer democratic leadership style. This leadership style will allow me to have strong relationships with my suppliers and keep them motivated and committed to the goals. The leadership style does have certain drawbacks such as longer decision making process. But I still believe it is the most appropriate leadership style since I work at Boeing where each project can have material impact on the company. Thus, it is essential to have followers who are motivated and dedicated to the success of each project.

I have great confidence in my abilities but at the same time I also strive to remain aware of my weaknesses and limitations so as not to underestimate myself. I believe this helps me make better decisions and have more realistic views. At the same time, I also believe that one can only do so much by himself and we need people to successfully achieve difficult goals. In my opinion, it pays to understand people and build good relationships with them. Thus, it is no surprise that I consider myself a democratic leader. I may ultimately make the final decision myself but I like to seek others ideas and opinions. This helps me expand my perspective and become aware of possibilities I might not have thought of otherwise.

The benefits of democratic leadership style are that it keeps employees satisfied and increase their motivation level. They are also more committed to the final decision because they feel they played a part in it. In addition, it also helps the leader develop people skills which are increasingly important in today’s competitive environment. The major drawback is that the decisions may take longer to be made. Thus, this leadership style may not be appropriate for occasions when decisions have to be made quickly (MindTools). Another disadvantage of democratic leadership style is that it may also be less appealing in rapidly changing competitive environment.

Democratic leadership style also helps reduce the communication gap between the leadership and the subordinates (Speedupcareer.com). This may have several benefits. First of all, the leadership will have a better knowledge of the operations and may also be able to quickly respond to problems. In addition, there may be lower employees’ turnover due to higher job satisfaction rates.

Another leadership style that shares similarities with democratic leadership style is people-oriented leadership style. People-oriented leadership style inspires followers to unlock their potential and encourages teamwork and collaboration. This style places a special emphasis on human relationships and helps create trust and loyalty between the leader and the followers. The main drawback is that the emphasis may be too much on human relationships that the actual performance may become a lower priority (Pearsons).

Democratic leadership style is in a stark contrast to the autocratic leadership style in which the leader makes the decision himself without consulting the subordinates (Pearsons). The advantage is that it results in quick decision making and the leadership style may be appropriate if the leader has expert power and is trusted by the followers for his professional competency and experience.

I work at Boeing which is one of the largest organizations in America and often takes multi-billion dollar projects. This is why I believe democratic leadership style is the most appropriate because it will help me motivate my followers to do their best, increase their commitment to the project, and give them the confidence to come to me with any issue they may have. When each project can have material impact on the company, there is nothing better than having committed followers who are as dedicated to the success of the project as the leader is.

MindTools. (n.d.). Leadership Styles . Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_84.htm

Pearsons. (n.d.). Leadership and teamwork in the public services . Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/FEAndVocational/PublicServices/BTEC/BTECLevel3NationalPublicServices/Samples/StudentBook/BTECLevel3NationalPublicServicesStudentBookSampleMaterial-Unit2Leadershipandteamworkinthepublicservices.pdf

Speedupcareer.com. (n.d.). Democratic Leadership Style . Retrieved February 14, 2012, from http://www.speedupcareer.com/articles/democratic-leadership-style.html

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Essay: Leadership styles

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Abstract This report explains how the leadership styles suit individual member of a team. It also disuses the advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles and offers suggestions in what situation the company managers should choose to alter their leadership styles. This report concentrated on Goleman .D. 2002 leadership styles.

INTRODUCTION Leadership styles is said to be the providing of direction, plans and also motivating people. It is important in a firm and does not matter if you manage a company of 150 employees or even if you are the only employee. It is enough to have only one way of leading, different circumstances requires separate method of management styles. This report, I will give the various ways of leadership styles that will suit and individual in a firm or company. This leadership styles also has his advantages and disadvantages, but it is also important to know that some of them damages organizations in long-term by reducing flexibility and dedication of employees. This primary aim of this report is to enable you know how all these leadership styles works in our life as we plan leading someday. Some of these leadership styles are directive leadership style which is known to be the oldest, participative, laissez faire and also adaptive, this one works into the environment and individual being. An article Grown co conference of February 2012 talks about this leadership styles and states: ‘Adapting our approach to consider the context and individual we are working with is important in developing and leading a staff.’ Another article in my research by (Goleman.D.2002) created a six leadership styles and also discovered that leaders used one of these styles at anytime. Though they have their own description, when to use them and also their weakness. They are commanding/coercive, visionary/Authoritative, affricative, Democratic, Pacesetting and also coaching system of leadership style. Goleman, D. Six leadership styles The Coercive Leadership styles: This is a system of doing what is said, and this is only use when there is urgency or crisis, the Weakness in this style is that members do not feel free as they are treated like workers, and their opinion is not needed. When a firm needs complete turnover this style is always use since there will be no time for group discussion. Example are crisis or under performance employee or the enforcement of health and safety regulations. In order words short term purpose is what this style needed just for the job to be done, since the impact can be negative. The Authoritative or visionary Leadership style: This style of leadership encourages people towards a vision. It should be best used when a new vision and direction is needed. The weakness of this style is that it lacks the ability to help members of a team understand when the goal or vision is gotten from. It is known to be the expert in the firm since it sees the way forward, directing the company to success, they lead the team to achieve their goal and this can be effective when there is a new direction. The Afflictive Style of Leadership: this leadership style focuses on emotional needs over work, and is known to be used for getting through stressful conditions. This leadership styles helps in building a team in the firm, they put the employees first in the agenda in the aspect of encouragement and also feedback, and they also have a good relationship with the team. This style is mostly implemented when there is low morale or poor team work. Encouraging this method will help in providing good team performance. Though the negative aspect can be poor performance going without feedback. In this situation, you must be mindful to adjust this style to get the required or positive feedback when necessary. The Democratic style of leadership: This style of leadership deals with the pattern of listening to both bad and good news, this helps in getting the required result from employees. The weakness can be, doing a lot of listening and very little action that is effective. It takes team vote to making decisions thereby causing improvement. The key to this is communicating and it can only be done when opinions are listened by group. It is only when the firm is ready for this style that working environment for employees will be good and the level of morale will be heightened. Workers always believe that their suggestions count, due to this thought they are committed in achieving the goals and aims of the organization. Moreover decisions are still to be made effectively and also in a timely manner. The pacesetting leadership style: this is a method that brings out challenges and also exciting goals for people. This can be used when the team is totally motivated and reliable. It can only be used when the employees are self motivated and skilled. The setup a high level of performance for themselves and also the group as a perfect example of behaviour they seek from other members of the group. The coaching leadership style: the styles helps people to find their strength and weakness and could be used when individual need to build longer term strengths. This style of leadership helps in focusing in their individual or personal development, and also achieving a goal in their job, this style helps in developing the unskilled members of the team to be successful working closely and also coaching them. This can only be achieved when employees acknowledge their weakness and be ready to improve on it by seeking for more ideas.

METHODOLOGY This report was conducted with the help of articles found on the Internet, Books, Journal found in the Birmingham university electronic library, it has proven to be academically reliable website. Yahoo UK is also said to be a reliable source as it is a British newspaper. The primary source of information was the internet because of the amount of information or resources such as news, report and can provide up to date information which are important. Most of the information from this report is got from other website where people can openly post their articles, Articles are being referred to but not included in the report, as it is not from a reliable source like Wikipedia have be avoided.

FINDINGS As explained by grown co Conference of 2010 leaders are expected to treat their employees as part of them, rather than making them feel like they are mere workers in the firm. Several benefits of these leadership styles are: Coercive leadership style ‘

Democratic leadership styles ‘ It helps to develop peoples skills ‘ It encourages creativity ‘ Members have high job satisfaction which is productive because the team are involve in decisions. Also in my finding, I discovered that though the leadership styles mention in this report is all helpful if implemented at the appropriate time, they also have demerit which are: Coercive Leadership: ‘ It kills employees motivation and morale ‘ It can lead to a high level of employees’ turnover.

Authoritative Leadership ‘ Employees are not given opportunity to provide feedback.

Democratic leadership ‘ It is time consuming ‘ There is a delay in decision making ‘ There is a fall if skills and communication are not strong enough. ‘ It leads to hinder situation where speed or affiance is necessary ‘ It does not have direction since different people have different perspective, and could lead to ineffective style of leadership.

Coaching leadership style ‘ This style is said to be disadvantageous when the employees does not acknowledge their weakness. ‘ It does not have immediate result.

Afflictive leadership style ‘ There is a negative feedback from the employees when the leader does not take charge of affair and allows the member to take decision in goals and objective.

Pacesetting leadership styles ‘ In this leadership, leaders’ takes too much work for themselves and resist the issue of giving tasks to other member of their team, making it difficult to finish.

RECOMMENDATION In my research I discovered that caching leadership style works best because it helps in improving individual performance and also achieving their goals to the goals of the organization. This works well when the employees acknowledge their weakness and wants more development. So my recommendation will go for the coaching leadership styles.

CONCLUSION The coercive and pacesetting have their uses, it is also important to know that this style damages organizations in long-term by reducing flexibility and dedication of employee. So you must note that it should be in short term frame. In comparison the other four leadership styles has shown to be positive impact on our working environment. An effective leader is someone that will be able to understand properly at least four out of the six mention leadership styles by Goleman and also can implement this style to suit the situation. The coercive and pacesetting roles have to be use when the situation called for it.

REFERENCING Bickerstaff, G. (2012) Grow co conference, leadership styles to master, v012. (Accessed 26th February 2014) Schultz, Duane p. Schultz, Sydney Ellen (2010). (Accessed on 26th February 2014) Psychology and work today: an introduction to individual and organization psychology (10th edition). (accessed on 26th February 2014) Upper saddle river, N.J: pretence hall.p.201 (Accessed on 26th February 2014) 1SBN978-0205683581. (Accesses on 26th February 2014) Benincasa, R. (2012) how winning works: 8 essential leadership lessons from the toughest team on earth. (7th edition) New York. (Accessed on 26th February 2014) Murray, A. (2010) six leadership styles that works best. Volume12 (issue1) page2. (Accessed on 26th February 2014) http://www.scribd.com/doc/78981417/Leadership-Styles (Accessed on 28th February 2014) http://voices.yahoo.com/the-advantages-coaching-leadership-style-2439790.html (Accessed on 28th February 2014) http://www.ehow.com/info_8245794_disadvantages-leadership-style.html (Accessed on 28th February 2014)

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Reflecting on my journey through various leadership roles, I have encountered and adapted to a multitude of leadership styles. This reflection explores how these experiences have shaped my understanding of effective leadership and the impact of different leadership approaches in diverse settings.

Transitioning into a larger organizational role, I encountered the transformational leadership style. This style resonated with me as it focused on inspiring and motivating team members towards a collective vision. Embracing this approach, I worked on developing a clear vision and communicating it effectively to my team, which significantly improved our collective enthusiasm and commitment to our objectives. This experience underscored the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, particularly in terms of inspiring and motivating a diverse group.

More recently, in a fast-paced and innovative environment, I have explored the agile leadership style. This approach emphasizes adaptability, collaborative problem-solving, and a willingness to embrace change and innovation. It has taught me the importance of being flexible and responsive to changing circumstances and the benefits of fostering a culture of continuous learning and development within the team.

In conclusion, my experiences with different leadership styles have been integral to my growth as a leader. Each style has its strengths and is effective in different contexts. These experiences have taught me that effective leadership is not about adhering rigidly to one style but about being adaptable, responsive to the needs of the team and the situation, and continuously learning and evolving.

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