Daniel Goleman undertook a landmark study on leadership at the turn of the millennium that linked leadership styles with a 30 percent differential in organizational profitability. As part of the “Leadership that gets results” study published in Harvard Business Review, Goleman identified six different leadership styles.
This leadership style is about modeling excellence and self-direction to inspire the same. It is ideal for use when quick results are required, and the team is already skilled and motivated.
The authoritative leader focuses on the end goals, rather than the means of achieving them. This gives team members a degree of autonomy and inspires enthusiasm for the mission.
The affiliative leader focuses on praise and nurturing and excels in times of stress or when trust needs to be built (or rebuilt). However, over-reliance on this style can lead to a lack direction or fall in performance.
The coaching leader supports their team to develop personal skills for long-term success but requires a high degree of proficiency on the part of the leader. It can be difficult when team members are resistant to change.
The coercive leader is good in a crisis – or as a last resort with troublesome team members. However, this style risks alienating the team and stifles creativity so should be avoided wherever possible.
The democratic leader seeks to build consensus through engagement; it is a good style for building ownership of a project but isn’t great for time-critical decision-making.
A good leader will try to avoid getting trapped in one leadership and understands that one approach isn’t right for every situation, so try to adapt your leadership approach to the situation in which you find yourself.