Research tells us that there are six distinct leadership styles that most executives and those in positions of responsibility tend to embrace.  Often, those individuals fail to understand which style they embody and therefore are oblivious to the impact that their leadership has on those who work for them, those who work with them — and in many cases those who volunteer in their organization(s).

Which style best describes you?  Which style best describes those you work for or volunteer for?

  • Coaching: This type of leader is one who invests in others, gives them opportunities to both succeed and fail, yet tends to develop people for the future.
  • Authoritative: These leaders are mobilizers and get people moving towards a shared vision.  They get out in front and lead yet tend to include others in order to build consensus and move groups and organizations forward.
  • Democratic: No, not politically (necessarily) but these leaders always forge consensus through participation — everyone gets a voice so there is grassroots level buy in for decisions.
  • Authoritarian: We’ve all worked with these types of leaders — those who demand that we comply with their every whim.  Resistance is futile and the work environment tends to reflect that.
  • Affiliative: These leaders are unique.  They like to develop strong emotional connections with those around them and then use those bonds to create harmony and build enduring connections between people.
  • Pacesetting: These are go-getters — they set very high performance standards but tend to back up those standards with hard work, high dedication, and an unwavering commitment to the desired outcome.

Remember, these styles aren’t ranked or ordered in any way and there are many successful organizations that embody leaders with each of these styles.  The question for you and your organization is how to recognize the leadership style in yourself or your organization and then create working relationships that allow your organization to move forward!