Leadership traits tell who a leader is as leader. Leadership styles tell what a leader does in the process of leading. In this article we are going to explore the leadership styles found in the research of three different researches:
- Kurt Lewin
- Renis Likert
- Daniel Goleman
Each of these individuals discovered a different set of leadership styles. While there is a great deal of overlap, they all allow you to view leadership from a different vantage point. In addition to these three, there are many other researchers who have developed many other systems for categorizing leadership styles. Each has a slightly different emphasis and perspective on how to view the way people lead.
There is no “correct” point of view in examining leadership styles. Each view is valuable and emphasizes different aspects of leadership in different environments. As a leader, a study of different leadership styles can help give you better perspective and make you more conscious about what methods you utilize to lead others.
In matters of style, swim with the current;
In matters of principle, stand like a rock.
~T. Jefferson (leadership quotes)
A good leader is not going to be stuck using a single leadership style. Leaders will consciously or unconsciously shift between and blend leadership styles in order to best achieve their goal. The most valuable thing you can get out of this article is a better understanding of what your default style is, its weaknesses and strengths, and the ability to deliberately choose an appropriate leadership style when faced with a new situation.