Each leadership style has distinct advantages. Direct leaders provide a clear sense of direction. Spirited leaders increase their group’s energy level. Systematic leaders ensure that others maintain their own exacting standards. Considerate leaders maintain group harmony. Yet placed in the wrong situation, leaders may find that their dominant style becomes counterproductive.

  • When crisis strikes, Direct leaders’ take-charge style can pull others through. However, when delegating tasks would prove effective, Direct leaders may have trouble loosening their grip.
  • When accuracy and objectivity matter most, Systematic leaders’ analytical style is an asset. However, when time pressures build, their thoroughness may bog down projects and frustrate others.
  • When a group’s energy begins to flag, Spirited leaders’ spontaneity can provide a vital spark. However, Spirited leaders’ tendency to live in the present moment can prove counterproductive in situations calling for careful, long-term planning.
  • When team harmony is vital, Considerate leaders’ desire to accommodate everyone is a plus. However, when an especially forceful individual or faction pushes for a special interest, Considerate leaders may yield too easily.


Depending on participants’ backgrounds and interest levels, you may want to ask them to brainstorm a list of famous corporate leaders. Then they can classify leaders according to style, noting times when these leaders may need to modify their styles.

Of course, participants in most training sessions are unlikely to face the high-stakes situations encountered by CEOs. Odds are, that, when they go to work every day, they do not face hostile takeovers, nor are they responsible for turning around failing giants. Instead, they may face situations in which they need to motivate employees to complete a project on time. Other times, they may need to spur on a particular employee by providing well-deserved praise. No matter what kinds of situations participants in your groups typically encounter, the same principle applies: To provide effective leadership, people need to adapt their individual styles to the requirements of different situations.


What’s My Leadership Style is a management development and leadership style assessment that identifies leadership style and helps organizational leaders, managers, and supervisors improve performance and become effective leaders.

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