Common Leadership Styles Found in Every Workforce

August 1, 2015 5:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It is well know that leadership styles vary among managers. When you understand these different approaches, you also know their benefits and how they will fit in best with your industry and your employees’ personalities. Here is an overview of the most common leadership styles you will likely observe.


These individuals lead by the power of personality. They are energetic and inspiring, often encouraging workers to move forward with projects, if not completely embrace them as their own. This leadership style can prove instrumental if you have a group suffering low morale that needs to be spurred to action. The problem that can arise is the group becoming very dependent on the leader’s energy, causing them to falter if the leader moves on to another company or team. It is important to encourage this personality to inspire confidence and independence as well as work ethic.

Command and control

Unlike the charismatic type, who tends to be more of a people person, the command and control persona is rules‑oriented. These individuals follow the rules rigidly and expect all others to do the same. If they don’t, there are often dire consequences. Critical situations with tight deadlines and compliance issues are best suited to the command and control leader. However, if you rely on this leadership style for all your company’s functions, you may have a workforce that feels restricted and unwilling to develop their own leadership potential. Unless this individual is assigned to compliance, human resources or finance departments, you will want to use their talents only for short-term or high-pressure situations.

The hands-off leader

Individuals with a hands-off leadership style trust their people. They stay informed and offer feedback, but they never hover around their team. They prefer granting their workers discretion. This works great in workplaces that have a mix of remote and onsite employees, as trust is essential when people are spread out like that. It is also appropriate when there is leadership collaboration with other departments and a need to create workforce cohesion. Those under the hands-off leader report a high level of work satisfaction and accomplishment.

The innovator

Innovative leaders see the big picture, including the parts that do not work. For the shortcomings, they look for solutions and are willing to try different approaches. Bringing them in can be essential when departments are too stuck in their ways and inefficiency and low morale are starting to take hold. Rather than use personality like the charismatic leader, the innovator offers methods and solutions. There are more risks, and sometimes failures, but they are treated as learning experiences. People report high work satisfaction with innovative leaders and see each day as the beginning of something exciting.

You can learn more about leadership styles, and how to help your workforce reach their potential, from Schoonover Associates. We offer leadership assessments and other consulting services so you can manage your human capital effectively. Call us today to see how we can help your organization find its best leaders.



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This post was written by Dr. Stephen C. Schoonover