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The 5 Leadership Styles and How to Identify Them

The 5 Leadership Styles and How to Identify Them

Even they are adhering to the standard protocol of both the project and the organization, managers have their distinct leadership styles when it comes to leading a project or managing their team or resources. You can tell that every leadership style of a person by the way they handle their team members, facilitate meetings or even tackle the existing issues in the project.



Some will find leadership styles hard to deal with—such styles can be too authoritative for others, while for some it can be too intimidating. Leadership styles do exist and it depends on the person who possesses certain skills and capabilities. Successful people over the course of history have their own unique leadership styles that made them famous…and infamous, and not to mention become an icon of business, social justice, fashion, and pop culture.

Below are the five leadership styles with their accompanying information and the famous people who use the following styles.


Leadership Style 1: Participative

Participative Leaders: USA President Barak Obama, Bob Diamond, James Parker

Leaders who use this style are considerate towards their subordinates contribution and ideas, but still, have the upper hand when it comes to the final decisions. Such ideas or inputs are considered valuable when it involves all the people in a project.

Advantages: Employees are confident to bring out their ideas and express their ideas and input

Disadvantages: Too much contribution from the employees overwhelms the course of action to be taken.


Leadership Style 2: Autocratic

Autocratic Leaders: Napoleon Bonaparte, Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart

Autocratic leaders make the overall decisions without asking the input of their subordinates. People are not keen to these types of leaders due to the way they act likes their subordinates’ input are not important. People who fall under this leadership style tend to be demanding and take high regard with their ideas.

Advantages: Able to come up with quick decisions

Disadvantages: Disliked by most subordinates since autocratic leaders give a sense employees a sense of worthlessness.


Leadership Style 3: Transformational

Transformational Leaders: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Richard Branson

People who belong to this leadership style are eager to encourage their subordinates to step out of their comfort zones and pursue unexpected ways to improve and innovate. Transformational leaders give the employee the room to improve and grow in order to do the jobs on their own. They ensure that everyone is involved towards change and improvement of an organization.

Advantages: The subordinate feel a sense of importance and are motivated to reach common objectives with their leader, as well as gives teamwork strength.

Disadvantages: Leaders may get too enthusiastic with loyal employees and end up piling them with too many tasks and responsibilities.


Leadership Style 4: Transactional

Transactional Leaders: Bill Gates, Howard Schultz, Joseph McCarthy

Considered to be the most common leadership style, transactional leaders work side by side with the employees to reach a certain goal and plan the next course of action of a project. Leaders either reward or punish their employees based on the results of the tasks assigned to them.

Advantages: Employees are appreciated for their work and contribution.

Disadvantages: Solely focusing on numbers rather in performance so employees that lack skills and capabilities to do the job are often overlooked.


Leadership Style 5: Laissez-Faire

Laissez-Faire Leaders: Warren Buffet, Herbert Hoover, Queen Victoria

Laissez-Faire leaders give free reign to their employees with little supervision. They are the most relaxed leaders who always believe in their employees’ capability to do their jobs. Leaders under this style have high value towards their employee’s skills, especially employees who are highly experienced and skilled.

Advantages: Employees have the upper hand to let our their creativity to accomplish their tasks

Disadvantages: Little of insufficient training for new employees or employees that need their skills improved.



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Management Square

Management Square is a service provider company specializing in Strategy Execution, Business Transformation, and Portfolio, Program and Project Management. Our mission is to create high quality trainings through professional excellence, and to provide a consultancy of choice through extensive learning experiences.


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