Effective Leadership Styles

Blog 3: Effective Leadership Styles

Leadership style

Leadership style refers to the way aims and objectives are approached by a leader and what aspects are selected to signify the importance of delegation to groups or team members (Yukl, 2006).

Leaders versus Managers

Picture Courtesy: Google Images

One of the major difference between a leader and a manager is that employees look up to their leaders, think of them as their mentor and follow them. On the contrary, managers do not have a following base, rather employees who work for them to achieve a goal or a task. Mostly, management skills can be moderated by being in a formal position. However, factors such as better performance and expert knowledge can moderate leadership qualities (Rusu, 2011).

Personality Traits of a Leader

An effective leader inspires people by giving them challenging tasks and guiding them towards a right direction (Rukmani et al., 2010).


Competent leader has a broad perception, specifically examines and communicates clearly the vision of the company to the entire team (Jing-zhou et al., 1998).


An experienced leader works efficiently with his people and not only identifies the demands of his team members easily but also works on them (Jing-zhou, et al., 1998).


Communication skill is one of the major skill that a leader should have to connect with followers in a more efficient way. It also helps the leader to analyze the issues and clearly lay down and explain the end goals to the team members (Yukl, 2006).

Action Oriented

Being action oriented is another significant personality characteristic that a leader should have. This means that he should be responsible enough to take practical actions and lead by being an example for the followers and showing them practically how an assignment should be completed (Burt, 1999).


A lot of employees feel empowered and inspired when their efforts are recognized by their leaders. Giving recognition to the employees work also plays a vital role in both; an employee’s success and in organizations success (Prakash Singh, 2007).

Leadership Styles

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Autocratic Leadership

Autocratic leadership is also knowing as authoritative leadership or dictatorship style of leadership. In this case the power mostly lies in one hand, and very limited power moves to the lower management. Decisions are completely made at the top level of hierarchy and communication takes place only from top to bottom. Employees are not asked for their opinions or any kind of input (Gono & Gallo, 2013).

The major drawback of autocratic leadership is that mostly employees are not very happy or satisfied which results in lack of contribution. Motivation in such type of leadership is encouraged by punishment and fear and rewards are given rarely (Seashore, et al., 1966).

Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership style focuses on creating democracy in the firm. In this case, the leader empowers his employees by giving them power to take small decisions and are also encouraged to give their input in the decision-making process. The employees are also given the opportunity to express and give their opinions (Madlock, 2008).

Employee satisfaction is one of the major benefit of democratic leadership. A democratic environment not only makes the employee feel important but also makes them feel wanted and integral part of the company. Employee satisfaction also improves an employee’s loyalty towards the company, improve their performance and reduces absenteeism and employee turnover (Madlock, 2008).

Laissez Faire

Laissez faire is a French word which means, let it be. This is the opposite extreme of autocratic leadership style as the leader in this case leaves decision making on employees trusting them completely. The leaders show confidence in employees to a certain extent. Communication is both; top- bottom and bottom up in hierarchy (Mintzberg, 1989).

Transformational Leadership

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A leader earns credibility once competence and character are combined (Covey, 2004).  Transformation leader not only motivate people to come up with new solutions and assumptions instead of continuing with the old ones (Madlock, 2008)

There are four major components in transformational leader’s personality, firstly, skill to inspire people, secondly, competence to motivate people, thirdly, understanding to relate to his followers and people and finally, intellectual stimulation (Burt, 1999). A transformational leader has all the characteristics of a charismatic leader who empowers his followers by building strong personal relationships (Nurmi, 2009).


Picture Courtesy: Apple.com (2011)


One of the most Ideal example of a transformational leader is Steve Jobs, former chairman and CEO of Apple Inc. who passed away, after fighting a strong battle with pancreatic battle with cancer, in 2011. After that, Jobs is always compared to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in remembrance. His impact on technology is still discussed in many papers, reports and studies. Steve Jobs’ leadership style is often referred to as primarily transformational once analyzed and examined. His ability to take challenges of the world and face competition is something that sets him away from the other leaders. His inventiveness and entrepreneurship skills are shown in setting up Apple that today is one of the biggest technological companies in the world. Steve Jobs has not only given a new turn to technology and its use but also influenced number of people a she had mass following. Even today, his life, his struggles and his success is an inspiration for many (Steinwart & Ziegler, 2014).

Most Effective Leadership Style

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Transformational style of leadership is the most effective one among all, as it is focused on people and discusses about building strong relationships with people. Being a transformational leader means that the leader influences not only his employees but also number of people who do not work for them. A transformational leader is a true inspiration for many and touch lives of number of people. They transform people promoting a vision and leading change (Prakash Singh, 2007).

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Burt, B. W. a. N., 1999. A Strategic Approach to Enhance Management and Marketing Effectiveness: Utilizing the SOAR Leadership Model to Improve Communication for Public Sector and Not-for-Profit Organizations. Journal of Non Profit and Public Sector Marketing, 6(4), pp. 23-29.

Gono, J. & Gallo, P., 2013. MODEL FOR LEADERSHIP STYLE EVALUATION. Journal of Management, Volume 18, pp. 157-168.

Jing-zhou, P., Xiao-xue, Z. & Xia-qing, Z., 1998. The role of leadership between the employees and the organization: a bridge or a ravine? -an empirical study from China. Journal of Management and Marketing Research, 6(4), pp. 1-14.

Madlock, P. E., 2008. The Link between Leadership Style, Communicator Competence, and Employee Satisfaction. International Journal of Business Communication, Volume 45, pp. 61-78.

Mintzberg, H., 1989. VISIONARY LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT. Strategic Management Journal, Volume 10, pp. 17-32.

Nurmi, J. R. D. a. R. W., 2009. Key contemporary paradigms of management and leadership: A linguistic exploration and case for managerial leadership. European Business Review, 21(3), pp. 201-214.

Prakash Singh, P. M. a. R. M., 2007. Importance of emotional intelligence in conceptualizing collegial Leadership in Education. South African Journal of Education, 27(3), pp. 541-563.

Rukmani, K., Ramesh, M. & Jayakrishnan, J., 2010. Effect of Leadership Styles on Organizational Effectiveness. European Journal of Social Science, 15(3), pp. 365-370.

Rusu, P. F. a. C., 2011. Management Versus Leadership Meaning, Models. Business and Leadership, 6(2), pp. 99-112.

Seashore, Bowers, D. G. & E., S., 1966. Predicting Organizational Effectiveness with a Four-Factor Theory of Leadership. Administrative Science Quarterly, 11(2), pp. 238-263.

Steinwart, M. C. & Ziegler, J. A., 2014. Remembering Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a “Transformational Leader”: Journal of Leadership Education, 13(3), pp. 52-66.

Yukl, G., 2006. Leadership in Organizations. s.l.: s.n.

10 thoughts on “Effective Leadership Styles

  1. culcivanhkc says:

    Great effort made to write the blog and explained every single typed of leadership there is available in the world right now. I clearly understand from the blog that you have chosen transformational leadership as your preferable leadership style and with your clear explanation made me further understand the style you preferred. Great use of example of Steve Jobs as a transformational leader that we had in the real life industry which every transformational leader in this era should adhere.


  2. Maham Taseer Qureshi says:

    This is a very well written post, my compliments. Completely agree with the example. Steve Jobs indeed, was a transformation leader and an inspiration. A good read.


  3. cuintinick says:

    You have shared different leadership styles but I agree that transformation leadership style is one of the most effective among the many. If a leader is able to embrace this and apply into organisation, employees would be happy as they are well aware that the leader is capable to lead the company to greater height.


  4. Farhan Tariq says:

    A good attemp to point out the qualites of a leader … Larry Page (Google), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), and Bill Gates (Microsoft) are archetypal of great leaders.


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