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What Is Your Leadership Style?

A quick Web search, however (psychology.about.com), explains that the Majority of the different leadership concepts which have emerged over the years could be classified into a handful of major forms:

There are numerous theories and models listed under each kind, and they are worth looking into. The type of leadership you embrace can either be a success or a failure, depending upon an array of factors: what works with a single character in one environment might not work in the following. Understanding the concepts listed above (and some others floating around out there) can help you describe what you believe to be true about leadership, and how you might best approach ability to lead your own leadership development .

Within one of these theories, however, the individual leader and their preferences also have to be taken into consideration. Besides the leadership theories which have been studied, there are also many leadership”styles” recorded in the literature. Again, a quick Web search identifies a number of the more common ones discussed:

Participative or Democratic Leadership
Laissez-Faire Leadership
Servant Leadership
Transactional Leadership
Transformational Leadership
Situational Leadership
Again, these seem to be some the most prominent; but there are other leadership styles identified in the literature which would be worth exploring for yourself. I have included these specifically for two reasons: one because they appear to have the most written about them; and two since those are the styles that I see most frequently in my own leadership training practice.

Unfortunately I see examples of Authoritarian Leadership more frequently than I would like; in which the leader makes decisions unilaterally and often unfairly. And out of military or paramilitary organizations, this never works. Another styles listed can be more or less effective depending on the environment, culture, and individuals involved; and you would be sensible to be aware of the difference.

Transformative Leadership is one of the more modern styles to be identified and is often touted as one of the best. It’s about inspiring others and sharing a larger vision. This sort of leadership is fantastic, of course; but it is often best balanced with a Transactional Leadership style based on job compliance and incentives for achievement. Of the styles listed above, my own prejudice falls toward Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership; in which the leader can correct his or style in response to the exceptional situation or task at hand.