How to Match Your Leadership Style With Who You Are

How to match your leadership style with who you are
  • Guest Author
  • January 26, 2018

There are many different leadership styles out there. If you’re like most people, there’s one style you just can’t envision yourself adopting. For instance, if you’re an introverted person that values harmony, then you probably wouldn’t be a fan of the authoritative leadership style. If you’re an outspoken visionary, then a delegating leadership style may be nerve-wracking.

As the old saying goes, “honesty is the best policy”. You should be honest with yourself and others- choose the style that fits you the best. Of course, there’s a caveat here. Efficacious leadership isn’t all about you. It’s also about the people who you’re trying to lead.


If you’re a young, inexperienced leader, and everyone on your team knows more than you about your industry, then an authoritative demeanor may not be optimal, even if you have the temperament for it. Your optimal leadership style depends on two factors: your personality and what your team needs. Here’s a list of different leadership styles. Read on to discover one (or more than one) that fits.


Authoritative Leadership Style

Picture a bossy military general in your mind. Someone who wakes his grunts up at 4:00 AM, and yells at them for not making their bed. That’s the typical image of authoritarian leadership. Of course, that’s just a hyperbole, an exaggeration, especially in the corporate world. Good civilian leaders eschew military policies.


Yet, the authoritarian leader does have clear expectations of his team. He can often be commanding and controlling. When does authoritarian leadership work best? For starters, you need the right temperament for it. If you like telling people what to do, then the authoritative leadership style is fine. Also, it works well when the team doesn’t have much direction or experience. That’s when authoritarian leadership shines.


The Delegating Leadership Style

The delegating leadership style is the most hands-off leadership style. Basically, it involves outsourcing much of the decision-making to others. This type of leadership is a dream come true for people who are shy, for people who are diffident, for people who despise being bossy.


Leaders that delegate are confidence builders. They tell workers they believe in them, and they encourage them to follow their designs and dreams. Of course, team fit is also critical here. The delegating leadership style works best when the company has skilled employees, workers who are very comfortable with their industry. If you like supporting others (but you’re thrust in a leadership role), the delegating leadership style may be right for you.


Transactional Leadership

The transactional leadership style is all about rewarding good performers and punishing bad performers. For instance, let’s say a salesman is expected to sell $50,000 dollars worth of inventory a month. If he meets the goal, a transactional leader would give him a nice bonus, but if he fails to meet the goal, then he would be patronized.


The transactional style has clearly defined roles and lots of direction (particularly for people who don’t perform). Yet, it also is very clear. It lets employees know what is expected of them, and people who meet goals are typically given plenty of freedom. It’s good for managers who want to be tough but fair.


Visionary Leadership

There’s a lot to be said about visionary leadership. Are you a visionary? You may be if you know a lot about your industry. You may be if you have ideas that other rivals can’t fathom, targets other competitors can’t imagine. The visionary leader has big dreams, and he needs people who will support him on the ride. Typically, there’s a promise of a large payoff at the end if everything works out, if the business grows at the hoped-for level. That’s the key phrase though, “if everything works out.”


Employees in a visionary company are often expected to work overtime or work for salaries that are lower than the median. That means it’s vital the employees believe in the business. If they don’t, then morale will suffer, and workers will start to leave. The visionary has to be bright and charismatic. He needs to not only have a grand vision, but he needs to have the skills to explain it.


Democratic Leadership

One of the most popular leadership styles is the democratic leadership style. Who does this work for? It turns out, there’s something for everybody. The democratic leadership style insists on a firm leader at the top. In other words, what the leader says goes. So, for people who value traditional leadership, there’s something to like here.


Conversely, democratic leadership is-as the name implies- democratic. Input from employees is valued. This builds their self-esteem, morale, and commitment to the team. So, democratic leadership is an effective leadership that has positives for bold extroverted leaders, and introverted laid-back ones.


Coaching Leadership

The coaching leadership style is an underrated one. The central tenet of this style is helping employees grow, giving them good feedback that assists their career development. It’s a style that focuses on others. It’s good for people who have lots of experience but find the authoritative style too abrasive.


Developing talent, just like team building or company retreats, helps you build bonds with employees. That being said, it takes a lot of time, a resource some companies simply don’t have. Additionally, some personality types are more suited toward teaching than others.


What’s Your Leadership Style?

Picking a leadership style you feel comfortable is paramount for success. What leadership style listed above would you feel most comfortable with? Share your thoughts in the comments.






Rob Jackson is the owner of Magnovo Team Building, delivering team build solutionsanywhere in the United States.

Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer




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