Which Leadership Style Are You?

Have no fear – there is no “right” style of leadership. There are countless categories of leaders today – and while you may find you relate to one or a few more than others, the reality is we’re all individuals, and so our leadership styles are all a little different. For the sake of this post, I’m going to focus on three primary philosophical schools of thought on the subject of leadership styles – as you read my descriptions of each, ask yourself – which one can I relate to the most?

Transformational style of leadership

A transformational style of leadership focuses on engaging followers’ emotions, values, ethics and motivations in pursuit of a long-term goal. It’s personal. Relationships in this style of leadership are essential – because you have to get to know your followers’ emotions, values, ethics and motivations to engage them. This particular style is the one that fits naturally with my personality and has worked best for me.

Authentic leadership

If your personality is a little more reserved, you might relate to the authentic leadership style. This style of leadership shifts the focus from the followers to the leader. These leaders demonstrate a strong sense of their purpose in life, their core values and their perceptions of the right thing to do. The thought is that as these leaders demonstrate self-discipline and follow their beliefs, followers trust them. In this type of leadership, you have relationships – as the followers must come to know the leader’s values. However, the relationships are different – usually not friendships. For those of you familiar with Stoicism, this is the closest to it – and for that reason, I find it to be more masculine.

Servant leadership

Your focus may be on serving others before looking to your personal goals and desires – if this is the case, you’re likely a servant leader. Perhaps the simplest to explain, this style of leadership makes serving others a top priority and places him or herself second.

In closing, you may see yourself as a combination of two or all three of these styles of leadership – and chances are you’d be right. While being familiar with your style of leadership can’t hurt, it’s important not to spend too much time focusing on the type of leader you are or want to be. Remember the most important element is simply a sincere desire to be the best leader possible.