Even a brief glance at the global landscape of politics and business will reveal a number of leadership styles. Different individuals bring their personality traits to whatever their tasks are, revealing along the way a definable personality style. However, it can be difficult for some to take the various approaches to leadership and create those definitions.
The author and psychologist Daniel Goleman endeavored to change all this. Over a three-year period, Goleman and his team interviewed over three thousand mid-level managers. The primary aim of the study was to take all the traits found in those 3000 individuals and divide them up into a series of leadership style categories. The 3000 people Goleman and his team interviewed were eventually split up into six distinctive leadership styles.
Looking over the six leadership styles Goleman defined in his study, it’s easy to take virtually anyone who works or functions in a leadership capacity and put them in one of those categories.
6 Leadership Styles
Goleman’s study provides a wealth of fascinating material on psychology in a general sense and the types of mindsets that are seemingly suited for leadership positions:
1. The pacesetting leader: This is a type of leadership that emphasizes self-direction. A pacesetting leader will demand that their employees do as they are doing, and that they do that immediately. This is a leader who needs others to be up to speed on all matters and capable of producing strong, fast results.
2. The authoritative leader: This is a leader who is going to bring everyone together to work towards a unified goal. They are going to believe in and look to the end result, and they are going to trust each member of the team to contribute something meaningful.
3. The affiliative leader: This is a leader who is going to be particularly useful during a time of crisis within an organization. Praising and even nurturing the other members of the team, it is believed that affiliative leadership should only be a component to someone’s overall approach to leadership. For obvious reasons, it should not be their dominant approach to leadership.
4. The coaching leader: This is a type of leadership that can perhaps be described best as a mindset that is devoted to getting others ready for future tasks and endeavors.
5. The coercive leader: This is a leader who demands respect and compliance at all times.
6. The democratic leader: This is going to be a leader who believes strongly in the value of participation.