Leadership: types and styles

Why are we looking at leadership types and styles?

Well a leader’s style of approach can have a positive or detrimental effect on a team’s or an organisation’s dynamics and therefore it’s success or performance. It seems that different leadership styles are needed for different situations or scenarios – horses for courses. For instance within the armed forces a certain leadership style is needed and practised, which would not be very effective within a volunteer organisation!

Here below we have the 3 main types:

  1. Authoritarian (Autocratic) – leader who adopts the authoritarian style dictates policy and procedure, and directs the work done by the people without looking for any meaningful input from them.
  2. Participative (Democratic) – leader offers guidance to the people, asks for their input in decision making but retains final say.
  3. Delegative (Laissez-Faire) – leader is hands-off and offers little guidance to the people and leaves decision making to them, will provide the necessary tools and resources to complete a project and will take responsibility for the group’s decisions and actions, but power is basically handed over to the people.

Here we have leadership broken down into 13 types:

  1. Visionary – one who has a clear picture of potential innovation and can develop a strategy to attain it, influencing others to adopt your vision.
  2. Transformational – one who is a role model for motivating innovation in others.
  3. Autocratic – one who retains authority and prefers to be the one who makes all decisions.
  4. Transactional – one who gives instructions offering rewards or penalties based on the results
  5. Coach-style – one who encourages collaboration.
  6. Strategic – one who challenges rigid assumptions encourage people to express alternative points of view.
  7. Democratic – also known as shared leadership – one who allows people to take a more participative role in decision making.
  8. Bureaucratic – one who allocates specific duties and requires adherence to a set of rules.
  9. Laissez-faire – also known as delagative leadership – one who limits the amount of guidance to people and allows them to fulfil their duties in their own way. (see above in main types)
  10. Charismatic – one who values individuals and listens to their concerns but leads by motivating.
  11. Supportive – one who delegates but supports people in their work.
  12. Servant – one who grows and develops people while also accountable to those above them.
  13. Situational – one who understands all leadership styles and is flexible enough to draw on whichever style best fits a situation.

Do you recognise yourself in one or more of these styles? Sometimes it is good to understand your style or one you can take on and adopt for certain situations to ensure the best outcome of your leadership responsibility.

Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts on this topic.

Hope you have a good month




“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18 – Bible

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