When it comes to leadership, there is no one-size-fits-all model to success. In fact, there is a remarkable variety in the skills and characteristics of great leaders. And even though many of us often look for the things they all have in common, it can be equally important to understand the things that make them unique.
Broadly speaking, there are three different styles that great leaders tend to inhabit.
Style #1 = Vocal and positive
The first type of leader is the “rah, rah” leader. He or she rally the troops with inspirational speeches. They have great vision and strong communication skills. They’re able to win people over to their way of thinking, and get people to believe in the overall mission of the organization, highlighting how each person’s effort moves the team closer to success.
Team members are often drawn to the positivity of the leader. Team morale is high, and so is effort.
When things are going well, this leader will give relentless praise. When things are not going as well, this leader will be there to offer compassion, and use his or her vision to chart a new course, never letting the team give up or get too stressed.
Style #2 = Vocal and negative
The second type of leader is more confrontational than the first. They expect the very best out of their teams, and will step up and tell you when you are not working up to those expectations. They use a healthy mixture of carrots and sticks, rewarding performance that goes above and beyond, but also punishing performance that falls short.
This leader uses intimidation to his or her advantage. They don’t care whether or not they are liked, as long as they are respected. When things are going well, this leader is happy. When things are not going as well, this leader is going to shake things up.
Style #3 = Non-vocal
The third type of leader is not as vocal as the other two. They are not going to make the inspirational speeches, and they are not going to motivate by intimidation. This leader is going to use his or her own work-ethic and standards as an example for the rest of the team.
Whether things are going well or not, this leader will be hard at work, doing whatever they can do to help the organization succeed. They stress teamwork and dedication, and inspire others based off of their own work ethic.
The very best leaders among us can vary styles between all three of the above, using different versions of leadership depending on the current conditions facing, and morale of the organization.