My Ideal Leadership Style Research Paper

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Personal Leadership Styles

Eight different Leadership Styles

My Leadership Styles

My Desired Style of Leadership Style

Research in recent times has established that organizations operate in more and more complex and dynamic environments and as such for organizations to do well in such conditions, the presence of good leaders is necessary. Hence, it is rightly assumed that presence of an efficient leader is often a critical factor in the success of the organization. The key and the traits of a good leader is to be able to lead a team efficiently, bring out the best from the team members and being able to manage change. In life too, leadership plays an important role (Barnes & Larcus, 2015). The different personal traits, thoughts and beliefs often design the style of leadership for an individual. It is also necessary as an individual to understand and know the best style of leadership that suits the qualities and beliefs of an individual. Over the years, extensive research on leadership have come up with a number of styles for leaders, come of them are discussed below.

Eight different Leadership Styles

While no set rules or laws about the type of leadership and the style exists or can be identified, research have identified certain common traits of leadership that can be grouped into a few categories over the years (Barnes & Larcus, 2015). The styles are classified according to the approach an individual leader adopts while dealing with people that they lead and the manner in which they get the work done.

The Charismatic Leader - This is a leader with a great and magnanimous personality which is the primary influencing factor. The aura and the personal.ity of the leader are such that it significantly impacts the followers who are drawn into following the leader. Such leaders lead by inspiring passion but often tend to have belief in himself more than on the team (Gobillot, 2007). Such leaders come into good effect when there is a need to spur others in the team to action. The primary disadvantage of such leadership is that the entire leadership revolves around the persona of the leader while the team remains at a risk. Hence, the leader can sometimes take risks which can be more than the team can accept.

The Innovative leader -- focus on innovation and new ideas is the primary characteristic of this style of leadership. Such leaders tend to have the potential to go far beyond the usual course of action that other leaders would have taken and are often quick to grasp the entire situation (DONOVAN, MEYER & FITZGERALD, 2007). Such leaders make use of innovation and new thinking not only to tackle the problem but also to better the situation. Situations and organizations where there is a need to break open entrenched and intractable issues are best suited for such types of leaders (Dennis, 2014). The style encourages the team members to think differently and innovate.

Paternalism Style Leadership -- this style of leaders believe that success can be achieved through the maintenance of rules. Such leaders are avid followers of rules and also expect the team members to do so. There is no scope for discussions in this style as it is an authoritarian style of leadership. Crisis situations when there is a real urgency to get to work with no time to discuss best suits these style of leadership. This style often also ensures that the team is able to meet deadlines through the immediate and complete compliance of directions from the leader (Herold, Fedor, Caldwell, & Liu, 2008). This type of leader generally believes in and engages in top-down interactions. However, the drawback of this style is that it creates an environment within the team that can be restrictive and tends to limit the ability to of others to develop their own leadership skills (Holyoak, 2002).

The Laissez-Faire Style -- In this style of leadership, the leader does not directly get involved in a situation as he or she is aware of and knows what is happening and has great confidence in the team and the team members. Such a leader assumes that the tea members would do their respective duties. Based the belief that the other would be able to get the work done, such a leader entrusts responsibility on others (Gobillot, 2007). When a team works in multiple locations or remotely, this is a style of leadership augurs well. However, this style of leadership can make the leader completely dependent on the team. But on the other hand, this style grants a considerable degree of freedom and autonomy to team members that can result in high job satisfaction and increased productivity (Holyoak, 2002).

Pace Setter leadership -- Such leaders are generally first timers for most things and encourages others to follow the leader's idea. They often set very high-performance standards for themselves as well as the group and depend on performance to lead. However, this style of leadership suits a team that is self-motivated and highly skilled. This style, however, can lead to burnout of the team members (Dennis, 2014).

Participatory Style -- Putting service to others before self-interest is the basis of this style of leadership. These leaders believe in the democratic style of leadership and involve all or most of the team members in decision making and in the leadership process. This leadership keeps the doors open for all members of the team without prejudice to hierarchy. Organizations with this style of leadership are often considered to be the best places to work. A positive organizational culture and high morale is often the outcome of this style of leadership but is not suited for a fast action scenario or a crisis (Helsing & Howell, 2013).

Situational Style -- These leaders adapt to situations and change themselves rather than the situation. Linking their behavior with that of the group's readiness is the common trait of this style. Being directing and supportive in addition to believing in empowering and coaching the subordinates are other traits of this style (Helsing & Howell, 2013).

Transformational style -- Belief in transforming, even if it is uncomfortable, and expecting that the team to transform too is the primary trait of this style of leadership. Such leaders serve as a role model for those associated with the leader as he assumes that everyone would give their best. Such leader also motivates the teams by strengthening the team through the qualities of optimism, enthusiasm, and commitment (Storey, 2005).

My Leadership Styles

During the course of my career, I have undertaken the role of a team leader and followed the participatory style of leadership during my early years of employment. As a leader in the military, I have used the style quite effectively as I included most of my team members to take a decision. As an individual, I believe in democracy and hence, I valued the ideas, views and opinions of others in my team. This not only helped me to gain respect as a leader but also helped in generation of new and innovative ideas. The responsibility sharing of decision making and participation of other team members in the team's functioning had helped me in running the team smoothly.

My Desired Style of Leadership Style

However in the later years of my career and especially after retiring from the Military, I have started to believe in the paternalism style of leadership. The primary reason to cause a shift in my outlook towards leadership style is the realization that not everyone in the team has the same skills or qualities to provide quality input in decision making and the team running. Though I still believe in democracy, I have realized that a more authoritarian style with significant control and strict maintenance of rules can deliver results. Though this does somewhat alienates me from my team, but as a Senior NCO in the military, I have realized that success can be achieved through the maintenance of rules and the regulating of conduct. These traits were part of my everyday life in the army and now I want to put them to use to get the best results.


Barnes, A. & Larcus, J. (2015). Positive Psychology as a Framework for Leadership Development in Recreation and Sport. New Directions For Student Leadership, 2015(147), 77-87.

Dennis, R. (2014). Improvised Performance: Nurturing Natural Leadership. Journal Of Organisational Transformation & Social Change, 11(2), 108-124.


Gobillot, E. (2007). The connected leader. London: Kogan Page.

Helsing, D. & Howell, A. (2013). Understanding Leadership from the Inside Out: Assessing Leadership Potential Using Constructive-Developmental Theory. Journal Of Management Inquiry, 23(2), 186-204.

Herold, D., Fedor, D., Caldwell, S., & Liu, Y. (2008). The effects of transformational and change leadership on employees' commitment to a change: A multilevel study. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 93(2), 346-357.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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