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Leadership styles – which type of leader are you?

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Leaders can adopt many different Leadership styles and it serves well to remember, that Leadership is not a battle. There does not have to be one winner, nor does one side have to win!

A Leader may be a singular person of title, BUT they do not achieve the best results on their own.

Leadership is not a Battle

All leaders are power holders, but not all power holders are leaders. 

Julie Hogbin

Whichever Leadership Styles, Leaders choose to adopt, what they need to remember is:

Leaders make or break people’s lives by their interventions. Those interventions can simply be by doing nothing!

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership is a style of Leadership that engages, inspires and provides aspiration. It is where the Leader develops a vision of change and is with their followers through the change. Inspiring buy in and commitment and ensuring the change embeds and all the team are on board.

Transformational leadership recognises an existing need or demand of a potential follower. They look for motives in followers and seek to meet the individuals higher need. A transformational leader will enhance the follower’s experiences. They will engage and encourage them to be more of the person they can be! A transformational leader will engage the full person of the follower.

Transformational leadership serves to enhance the motivation, morale, and job-performance of followers through a variety of means.

These include:

  • Connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to a project, team and to the collective identity of the organisation.
  • Being a role model for followers to inspire them and to raise their interest in the project.
  • Challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work.
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers.
  • Align followers with tasks that enhance their performance.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders pursue a cost-benefit, economic exchange to meet subordinates’ current material and intellectual needs in return for ‘contracted’ services rendered by the subordinate.

The above paragraph aptly describes Transactional Leaders. They lack emotion and care for the greater needs of their ‘subordinates.’ Their interest lies in getting the job done, at the smallest cost and inconvenience to themselves.

Transactional Leaders do not ‘care’ about the future of their employees. Personal development is provided, when required for the achievement of task.

Hands off Leadership

Hands-off (Laissez-faire) Leadership is a leadership position in name only. A hands-off leader leaves their team to fend for themselves. Make their own decisions about what gets done and in what direction they travel. This style results in employees having a free hand in deciding policies, methods and what gets completed.

We all need Leadership and a Leader will emerge from the followers. BUT that person will lead where they think they should go, which is not necessarily where the organisation wants or needs to go.

  • With transformational Leaders, everyone grows.
  • With transactional and hands-off Leaders, no one grows.

Studies have shown:

That transformational leadership styles are linked with positive outcomes. Transactional and hands-off leadership are linked with negative outcomes. Specifically, with follower satisfaction of the leader and leader effectiveness.

Leadership Wisdom

True Leadership is where the person with the power, applies it appropriately to the benefit of all involved.

Julie Hogbin


A transformational leader:
  • Raises our level of awareness, level of consciousness about the significance and value of designated outcomes and ways of reaching them
  • Gets us to transcend our own self-interest for the sake of the team and organisation.
  • Alters our need level and expands our range of wants and needs

Transformational leadership recognises and exploits an existing need or demand of the follower. Looks for potential motives in followers, seeking to satisfy higher needs and engages the full person of the follower.

A transformational leader tends to go further, seeking to arouse and satisfy higher needs, to engage the full person of the follower …. to a higher level of need per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. (watch out for an upcoming article on Maslow)

Transformational Leaders are visionary leaders for their Business for their Employees and for themselves.

Julie Hogbin


A transactional leader:
  • Recognises what it is that we want to get from work and tries to ensure that we get it, if our performance merits it
  • Exchanges rewards and promises for our effort
  • Is responsive to our immediate self-interests, if they can be met by getting the work done

A transactional leader approaches followers with a belief to exchange one thing for another and giving as little as possible away. Time energy and emotion are in short supply from the Leader to the caring of their team or organisation.

Transactional Leaders are short sighted for the growth of their Business their employees and themselves – they think keeping the status quo is safe.

Julie Hogbin

Hands off

A hands-off leader:
  • Is interested in doing the least possible with their Leadership duties and provides no direction.
  • Takes the least path of resistance and does the minimum required for their staff team.
  • Is non-responsive to any needs, including their own.

Hands-off Leaders are not interested in the career of their staff team, nor in getting the job done. They will actively keep a good person down, as to do any different, will result in themselves doing more work.

A hands-off leader approaches followers as little as they possibly can and may see their staff team as a hindrance.

Hands-off leaders have no vision, no insight and care only for themselves. Hands-off leaders do not even know what the status quo is, let alone understand vision.

Julie Hogbin

Leadership styles cannot truly be broken down into this short article, BUT it will provide room to think about, what style you currently adopt?

Are you a Leader who attracts followers and has no issue getting people to join them?


Are you a Leader who struggles to recruit, has a high staff turnover or long term sick or worst of all presentism at work?

Which one are you? One will serve you and your staff team, both short and long term, the other may gain short term results, but long term will cause untold health issues, for both you, your team and your organisation.

The choice is yours, which Leadership Styles works best for your business?

Which Leadership Style Are You?
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