Every great leader has a certain leadership style. In retrospect, the leadership traits, principles and strategies can be defined and clearly categorized but at the time those traits were simply a style and not teachings from a book on management.
Mahatma Gandhi leadership style was unique in many ways and also similar to some of the other great leaders across the world. Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian freedom fighter and also a spiritual leader. However, he did not fight any battles and nor did he preach to others what enlightenment was. He was a champion of nonviolence and played a very significant, often unparallel, role in attaining freedom for India from the British.
Mahatma Gandhi leadership style was more about participation and being definitive in the goals. He was a man who had immense confidence in his own beliefs and he made others, rather convinced them, to have the same beliefs. The principles he lived his life by were not thrust onto others but he made people understand why his principles were necessary and why they were noble. In many ways, Gandhi empowered the people around him and it was that sense of empowerment which drove people to become, in a way, his disciples.
Mahatma Gandhi led some of the largest nonviolent, peaceful and polite protests in the history of the world. In a world that was not widely connected by phones and when internet was still half a century away, he had an impeccable ability to mobilie masses. He had millions of people, not just within India but also beyond, who could answer his call and rally with him to attain a certain goal. Mahatma Gandhi leadership style has often bzeen hailed as the best example of transformational leadership. He believed in something, made others believe in it and pursue the path to accomplish the goals with unflinching conviction and determination. No wonder that the British were scared of a physically fragile man who used a stick to lend him support on the long walks.
Although Gandhi took everyone along, he was very authoritative as a leader. His leadership style was transformational and participative but his thoughts were not. Once he believed in what was right, he would stick to that. Some of his standpoints have often been criticized by historians but given the eventual outcome of his pursuits and endeavors, neither can his leadership be questioned nor can his intent and abilities be put under the scanner.