Traditionally, I do not get overly academia when it comes to my blogs. However, over the last couple months I’ve become more and more fascinated with the idea of understanding different leadership styles and discovering what leadership styles you utilize daily. Whether you’re in an executive role or lead by example as an employee of your organization, all of us utilize different characteristics of leadership to accomplish goals. Many experts have tried to define leadership and the common threat among most leadership definitions is “one’s ability to motivate or influence.”

Depending on what expert you’re analyzing, there are anywhere from four to six commonly used leadership styles. Daniel Goleman defines his six leadership styles as commanding, visionary, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and coaching. Below is a diagram describing these different leadership styles and scenarios on how they are utilized.


In addition to Goldman’s leadership styles, experts talk about leadership styles such as transformational, charismatic, servant, transactional and symbolic. Most leaders identify with a leadership style like charismatic or servant leadership but rarely consider leadership styles similar to Goldman’s six. There are so many theories, thoughts, and opinions in regards to leadership, and for many established leaders, it can be difficult to keep up with new concepts regarding leadership. However, I think it’s essential for leaders to understand these leadership styles and work on adapting these styles into your overall leadership development.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my leadership studies, it’s a leader’s ability to be flexible and adapt new leadership styles depending on the situation. The best leaders aren’t tied to only being charismatic or democratic in their leadership interactions with others but utilize different leadership traits to encourage, motivate, and influence others. Review the different leadership styles and learn from other leaders to develop you into a flexible leader that utilizes different leadership styles depending on the situation.

As leaders, the continuation of developing our leadership skills is essential. Some leaders have the God-given gift of leadership. For others, learning how to interact with others and challenge our comfort levels is essential to the development of us as leaders.