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Leadership Styles

Discover Your Leadership Styles: 6 Ways to Lead Successfully

Effective leadership has become increasingly crucial for success in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. To excel as a leader, one must not only understand different leadership styles but also adapt and apply them in various situations. Developing emotional intelligence, mastering communication techniques, and fostering a servant leadership mentality are essential to truly make an impact and lead teams successfully. This deep dive into the world of leadership provides insights and strategies to help you discover your leadership style and navigate your path to successful leadership.

Superior Leadership Principles

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Photo by Jehyun Sung

When it comes to superior leadership, there are six essential principles that can guide individuals in their journey to become effective leaders. These principles encompass the qualities and behaviors that set exceptional leaders apart from the rest. By understanding and practicing these principles, aspiring leaders can discover their unique leadership style and lead their teams to [1] success.

1. Mission-driven Focus

Exceptional leaders know the purpose of their organization and have a well-defined mission that guides their actions. They communicate this mission clearly to their team, ensuring that every member understands and identifies with it. By aligning the team’s efforts with the organization’s mission, superior leaders inspire their team members to strive for excellence and work towards a common goal.

2. Visionary thinking

Effective leaders have a clear vision of where they want their organization to go. They are able to articulate this vision in a way that inspires their team members and encourages them to imagine a brighter future. By painting a picture of success, superior leaders motivate their team to work together towards achieving the vision.

3. Goal-oriented Approach

Successful leaders understand the importance of setting specific and measurable goals. They develop a plan to achieve their mission and vision, breaking it down into actionable steps that can be easily tracked and evaluated. By setting clear goals and measuring progress, superior leaders ensure that their team is on the right track and working towards success.

4. Competence and Continuous Development

Superior leaders are seen as experts in their field and continuously work to develop their leadership skills. They are knowledgeable and competent, gaining the respect and admiration of their team members. By investing in their own growth and development, exceptional leaders provide the best guidance and support to their team.

5. Building a Strong Team

Great leaders recognize that they cannot do everything alone. They surround themselves with a strong and diverse team, filling in any gaps in their own skill set. Through effective team-building, they assemble a group of talented individuals who can contribute to the success of the organization. By trusting their team members and empowering them to excel, superior leaders create an environment that fosters collaboration and drives results.

6. Effective Communication

Communication is a critical aspect of superior leadership. Exceptional leaders know the importance of conveying their ideas clearly and effectively. They communicate regularly with their team members, both in formal settings and informal interactions. By being open, approachable, and actively listening to others, they build strong relationships and ensure that their message is understood.

Discovering your leadership style begins with understanding these six principles of superior leadership. By embracing these principles and incorporating them into your approach, you can develop your unique leadership style and lead your team to success. Remember, effective leadership is not about a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s about finding what works for you and adapting your style to different situations.

The Six Leadership Styles

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Photo by Ilya Chunin

Leadership styles play a critical role in the effectiveness of leaders and the success of organizations. In this blog, we will explore the six most common leadership styles and provide insights on how to discover your own leadership style.

1. Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders inspire their followers to achieve more than they thought possible. They create a shared vision, develop bonds, and instill passion within their teams. These leaders focus on the future, embrace change, and see the potential in every individual. Transformational leadership is highly effective in organizations undergoing significant changes or transformations.

2. Delegative Leadership

Delegative leaders take a hands-off approach and trust their employees to do their jobs. They empower their team members, allowing them to utilize their creativity, resources, and experience to meet their goals. While this leadership style can be successful when team members are competent and take responsibility, it can lead to confusion and conflicts if employees are not accustomed to this level of autonomy.

3. Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders rely on rewards and punishments to motivate their team members. They set clear goals and clarify how their teams will be rewarded or punished based on their performance. This leadership style focuses on following established routines and procedures rather than making significant changes. While transactional leadership can ensure efficiency, it may also lead [2] to diminishing returns if employees are only motivated by external incentives.

4. Participative Leadership

Participative leaders involve their employees in the decision-making process and value their input. They create a collaborative environment where team members can identify problems and develop solutions together. This leadership style builds trust among employees, empowers them to share their ideas, and fosters a sense of ownership and commitment. However, it can be challenging to maintain in virtual or remote work settings, where spontaneous communication is limited.

5. Servant Leadership

Servant leaders prioritize the needs of others and focus on creating strong relationships. They understand the strengths and abilities of their team members and work to develop their full potential. These leaders lead by example, set a good example, and understand the personal goals of their team members. Servant leadership fosters ethical decision making, open communication, and a sense of loyalty and trust among team members.

6. Authoritative Leadership

Authoritative leaders have a clear vision and inspire others to follow. They exhibit confidence and charisma, and their leadership style is driven by inspiration and confidence. These leaders communicate their ideas with clarity and passion, and they lead their teams towards their vision of success.

By understanding the six leadership styles and reflecting on your own leadership behaviors, you can gain insights into your own leadership style. Consider seeking feedback from your team members and adapting your approach based on the situation. As you develop your leadership style, you can become a more successful leader and drive positive outcomes for your team and organization.

Putting It All Together: Discovering Your Leadership Style and Leading Successfully

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Photo by Marissa Grootes

Now that you have a better understanding of different leadership styles and their pros and cons, it’s time to discover your own leadership style and learn how to lead successfully. Bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership, and finding the right style for you is essential. Here are six ways to lead successfully based on your leadership style:

1. Embrace Your Authenticity

Be true to yourself and lead in a way that feels authentic to you. Understand your values, strengths, and weaknesses, and use this self-awareness to guide your leadership style. Authentic leaders are more relatable and inspire trust in their team members.

2. Adapt to Different Situations

While it’s important to have a primary leadership style, effective leaders are adaptable and can adjust their approach based on the situation. Some situations may require a more directive style, while others may call for a more collaborative or empowering approach. Flexibility is key to successful leadership.

3. Communicate Effectively

Good communication is the foundation of successful leadership. Develop strong communication skills, including active listening, clear and concise messaging, and the ability to adapt your communication style to different individuals and audiences. Effective communication builds trust, fosters collaboration, and ensures everyone is on the same page.

4. Empower and Support Your Team

Regardless of your leadership style, it’s important to empower and support your team members. Provide them with the resources, guidance, and autonomy they need to excel in their roles. Encourage their growth and development, celebrate their accomplishments, and provide constructive feedback to help them improve.

5. Lead by Example

As a leader, your actions speak louder than words. Demonstrate the behaviors and qualities you expect from your team members. Lead by example by being accountable, ethical, and reliable. Show integrity, earn respect, and inspire others through your actions.

6. Continuously Learn and Grow

Leadership is a journey, not a destination. Commit to continuous learning and growth as a leader. Seek feedback from your team members, mentors, and peers. Stay up to date with industry trends and best practices. Invest in your own development through leadership programs, workshops, and reading relevant literature. The more you learn and grow, the better equipped you will be to lead successfully.

Leadership is not about a title or position—it’s about influence and inspiring others to achieve their full potential. Discovering your leadership style and leading successfully requires self-reflection, flexibility, effective communication, empowerment of your team, leading by example, and a commitment to continuous learning and growth. By embracing these principles, you can become the leader your team needs and drive success in your organization.


[1] Views on leadership traits and competencies
[2] 35+ Powerful Leadership Statistics [2023]: Things All …

Max Johnson

Max Johnson is currently a Vice President at a Fortunate 100 company. He has also held multiple leadership positions at two startups previously. When he is not busy working, you can find him surfing at the beach or skiing in the mountains.

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