Which leadership style suits your business?

posted by 4 years ago in Features

In a world of leaders an interesting pattern is developing. Whilst politicians like Theresa May and Donald Trump appear to be moving towards a strongman ‘strong, stable’ leadership, business bosses are said to be favouring a more wholistic style that exposes their own weaknesses and allows workers’ strengths to shine.

Whether you have two staff or two hundred, developing a leadership style is fundamental to steering your business. Here are 5 different styles:


“A leader knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.” Coco Chanel

Transformational leaders rely heavily on communication with their workers. They seek to motivate employees and enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and high visibility. These leaders focus on the big picture and take on the big tasks themselves whilst delegating smaller tasks to accomplish goals. Coco Chanel held on to her vision and used the skills of others to help her achieve it.


ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 16, 2017: Steve Jobs wax figure at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Istanbul. Steve Jobs was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc.


This leader goes unchallenged and forges ahead to make decisions on their own without the input of others. They possess total authority and impose their will on others.

Autocratic leader and Apple boss, Steve Jobs, created arguably the most respected brand in the world. He was always at the centre of everything that Apple did and surrounded himself with like-minded individuals.


Transactional leadership focuses on results and leaders set clear criteria for their workers and often work to a reward-penalty system. This type of leader values order and structure over creativity and flair.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates used to visit new teams and ask detailed and difficult questions until he was convinced that all teams were on track and focused on the end goal.


LOS ANGELES - MAY 12: Sir RIchard Branson at the Power Up Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on May 12, 2016 in Beverly Hills, CA


In an article about his leadership style Richard Branson wrote ‘Personally, I have always believed in the art of delegation – finding the best possible people for Virgin and giving them the freedom and encouragement to flourish.’

The participative style is often called the democratic leadership style. Team input is encouraged but the final say rests with the participative leader.

Interestingly, success does not appear to be exclusive to one style so whichever way you go – good luck!