With the various leadership styles out there, I thought it would be appropriate to start discussing different leadership styles, some of their advantages, shortfalls, and common use. Not to mention that we are The Leadership Center – it just makes sense! In this post, you will find a brief overview of transformation, transactional, and servant leadership. Over the next few weeks, we will dive a bit deeper into these styles to provide a greater understanding of each and the best situations to deploy them.
Transformational leaders motivate and inspire others to achieve greater results for themselves, their team, and their organization. The transformational leader transforms others into accomplished members of the team contributing to a greater purpose. This style leverages the motivation of others, requiring some level of autonomy for those being led – the freedom to make decisions on their own.
The transactional leader uses rewards such as monetary, time off, or recognition to encourage others to achieve intended results. This is more of a “carrot or the stick” approach – less carrot than stick. Transactional leadership is often contrasted with transformational leadership; however, Thite (2000) notes that transformational leadership styles strengthen some transactional characteristics – they enhance versus replace them.
The servant leader serves others first by meeting the personal and professional needs of others before their own. The servant leader does not neglect their own needs, rather, they place the needs of others (including the organization) before their own.
These are not the only leadership styles around, but they are among the most common (positive and effective) styles. I will wrap up this series with a discussion on Situational Leadership, a style studied and discussed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Situational leadership embraces the individual’s different needs and the situation to drive the style or approach. Each style is unique and may be applied successfully in one organization. After all, each person on your team or in your organization is unique and is motivated differently.
Jared W. Snow
Thite, M. (2000). Leadership styles in information technology projects. International Journal of Project Management, 18(4), 235-241. doi:10.1016/S0263-7863(99)00021-6