Reading for Leading #22: Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.

We often mistakenly believe that the leadership style shown by an individual is a result of her personality, rather than a choice that can be strategically changed depending on the project, team or organisation. Daniel Goleman, author of several books on emotional and social intelligence, describes 6 leadership styles revealed by a study of almost 4,000 senior executives.

One of these styles has the clearest overall benefit on organisational climate (defined by a range of factors including how flexible employees feel they are to get work done and how committed they are to doing so) while two of the styles have a negative overall effect.

6 leadership styles discussed by Daniel Goleman
Image credit: unknown (multiple sources)


The visionary or authoritative style typically has the most strongly positive impact especially in situations where a clear vision is needed for staff to follow. (see all the 4 traits that team members rate). Note that this differs from the pacesetting style where the emphasis is on performance standards rather than the creation of a shared vision. The pacesetting style typically has a negative effect.

Looking around your colleagues do you see certain styles that are more favoured? Which styles do you use with your own team(s)? Are there certain situations in which a style may be inappropriate e.g. using the visionary style with a team that are more skilled than you in their individual roles?


Source of Inspiration: “Leadership that gets results” by Daniel Goleman


One thought on “Reading for Leading #22: Which of the 6 leadership styles do you use?

  1. Pingback: 6 months of Reading for Leading! Top posts so far… – Social in silico

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