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What Leadership Styles Do you Exhibit?

A Leader's choice of style accounts for up to 70% of his/her organisation's climate. Moreover, a sound organisational climate can help in increasing the bottom line performance by 30-40%. Therefore, it is important that a Leader tailors his/her Leadership style to address the particular business situation at hand.

Leaders often prefer a particular style, or are most often associated to one style; however, the strongest leaders are those that can jockey between the 6 distinct leadership styles.

Fact: Studies show that 90% of Leaders are High in Emotional Intelligence.

Thus, I've mapped out which specific Emotional Intelligence Competencies are necessary to employ when using each Leadership Style. These competencies are defined in my soon to be published book Leaders and Emotions: The Perfect Formula and are presented with a set of Strategies that will help you better your Leadership skills immediately.

The 6 styles are:

  1. Visionary: This is the strongest and most positive way of moving people towards a shared goal. Inspiring with a vision, the Leader makes it easy for followers to want to find ways to help the vision become reality. Self-awareness, empathy, self-confidence, and Inspiring others are all the Emotional Intelligence competencies needed for this style. Example: Steve Jobs

  2. Coaching: The Coaching Leader primarily develops the people around him/her by helping employees uncover and cultivate their best capabilities for the long-term. In doing so they use EQ competencies Helps Develop Others, Empathy, Emotional Self-Awareness. This is a highly positive way of leading as it builds rapport and trust in the organisation. Examples: Andrew Carnegie coached/ mentored Charles Schwab. Nick Bollettieri (Tennis coach to grand slam winners Andre Agassi, The Williams Sisters, Maria Sharapova)

  3. Affiliative: The Affiliative Leadership style puts emphasis on open communication of emotions, and on the value of employees and their emotional needs. Team resonance and positive culture through harmony, happiness, and loyalty are fostered in hopes of greater output. Working in Teams and Collaborating, as well as Empathy are necessary competencies for this style. Example: Ricardo Semler, Joe Torre

  4. Democratic: This style of leadership keeps morale and overall climate high. By getting input and buy-in from many constituents, Democratic leaders gain trust and respect. This style works best when the leader is uncertain of the company's next course of action and wants input from others, or when industry circumstances are changing and every effort must be made to keep up to date. Working in Teams and Collaborating, Conflict Management, Influence, and Empathy are necessary EQ competencies to implement. Example: US President John F. Kennedy

  5. Coercive: The Coercive style of Leadership should only be applied in very limited circumstances as it is generally perceived as ruthless and domineering- "Do as I say Now". Instances to apply such a style include hostile takeovers, turnarounds, or genuine emergencies (e.g: natural disasters) and usually involves a lot of moving, shaking, and changing of the organisational structure and culture. An inflexible, little reward environment can be disastrous for a work culture if not used in moderation; thus, buyer beware. Self-Awareness, and Emotional Self Control are necessary EQ competencies to implement. Example: Joseph Stalin

  6. Pacesetting: The Pacesetting style of Leadership can only add benefit in a handful of circumstances and overuse of this style can burn out employees; Thus, this style should be used sparingly. Pacesetters exemplify high performance and are obsessed with doing things better and faster and telling those to pick it up when they are not performing or at the same pace. Self-Awareness, and Emotional Self Control are necessary EQ competencies to implement. Example: Elon Musk(CEO, Tesla), Jeff Bezos(CEO, Amazon)

Can you think of which Leadership Styles you exhibit?

Which leader mentioned above do you aspire to be?

Let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also write to me at

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