• 08Dec

    What are the most common styles of leadership?

    Leadership is a process of influencing other individuals to behave in a desired way to achieve the organizational goals. Leaders should have a vision; they should know how to organize the company; and they should know how to persuade and motivate people around them to achieve goals that are beneficial for the whole organization. The best leaders should also anticipate the future to make the right decisions just in time.

    It has been argued for a very long time, whether the leaders are just born to lead (and, in fact, you can not learn it) or whether leadership is based on certain methods which can be learned by any individual – even someone that seems to show no leadership potential at all.

    According to the newest research, leadership is determined by specific emotional intelligence of the individual. Different from traditional cognitive intelligence which cannot be increased, emotional intelligence is actually flexible and can be learned, so this means that you can learn how to become a leader. There are different kinds of leadership styles, and for every style, different emotional characteristics are relevant. According to the Ohio State Model, there are four basic leadership styles: supportive, participative, abdication or denial, and directive. Each model is determined by two dimensions which are: consideration or attentiveness and initiating structure. Consideration means orientation toward people, while initiating structure means orientation toward task.

    Supportive leadership

    Supportive leadership is based on high attentiveness (consideration) and low initiating structure. These leaders have a high level of concern for employees, but a low level of the orientation on the task and knowledge. This style is mostly implemented in conditions when employees in the organization understand what they need to do, but at the same time they have problems in communication, which slows down achieving the organizational goals and make their achievements more difficult.


    According to the newest research, leadership is determined by the specific emotional intelligence of individual.

    Participative leadership

    Participative leadership style is based on high consideration and high initiating structure. Leaders with these characteristics have a high level of concern for employees and high orientation on the task. This style is widely used in organizations that have problems with both communication among employees and a lack of understanding of the organizational tasks. This style might be regarded as the most difficult one.

    Denial leadership

    Abdication or denial style is based on low attentiveness and low initiating structure. Such leaders don’t have concern for their employees, and they are not focused on the tasks set by the company. It might seem that these leaders don’t even have the necessary leadership potential, but they are also important in organizations with a good communication atmosphere, where employees are familiar with their tasks. When everything goes in the right direction, there is no need to change anything or to set new rules, so characteristics of these leaders are perfectly matching the organizational needs of the company.

    Directive leadership

    Directive style is based on low consideration and high initiating structure. These leaders don’t care about their employees needs, and they are highly focused on realization of the organizational goals. These leaders are very useful in organizations that have problems with relationships among the employees and where employees have low concern for the task. Directive leaders are autocratic and they expect a high level of concentration from their employees and orientation on the tasks at any cost. Such a leader is ready to implement very drastic methods if he finds them necessary to get the obedience of his subordinates.

    These four approaches to leadership are universal for every type of organization, although they also depend on the business environment, strategy orientation, organizational culture of the company, and its current needs. Do you think that you were able to find your boss somewhere among these types? :)


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