Many Leadership Styles, What’s Yours?



Ben Bryant, professor at IMD Business School, believes there are certain core features (behaviors and personal characteristics) that defne transformational leadership.

He groups these of transformational leaders into the following clusters:



Opportunity seeker Solves problems, has insights, finds the right idea or right solution
Intellectual Takes sensible risks (both personal and organizational), recognizes constraints
Creative Goes against status quo, doesn’t always do the expected and can behave unconventionally
Moral Behaves based on values, beliefs and sense of moral purpose; acts trustworthy


Confident Displays assuredness, optimism, self-efficacy and internal control
Inspirational and/or visionary Articulates new ideas or goals; uses artful communication, dramatic metaphors and exciting presentations to control followers’ attention and to inspire them
Empathetic Shows sensitivity to followers’ needs and desires, cares for others, encourages emotions and expression, doesn’t abuse power

Global Effectiveness

Returning to the question of whether there is a pattern of leadership styles across geographies, transformational leadership is widely recognized as a trigger for exceptional operational performance on a global basis. According to the research team led by Boehnke, despite needing to adapt to national differences, transformational leadership greatly improves performance.

At this point it is useful to highlight several points:

    • Leadership is not just for formal leaders. It applies to leadership in its broadest sense. As already mentioned, leadership happens at every level within an organization.


    • Transactional and transformational leadership styles are not mutually exclusive. It is not a case of one and only one; good leaders are a hybrid, possibly with one side more dominant than the other. Such leaders are adept at knowing which style to apply and when.


  • Interestingly, transactional and transformational styles can be leveraged. Leaders can transition in and out of one or the other, as required.

So no more excuses. Let’s go and lead!

Related articles:

Successful Leadership Through Perspective

10 Ways Business Leaders Can Build Trust

What Is A Rouser? The Ultimate Business Leader

Luis Gallardo
Luis Gallardo
Luis Gallardo is a global brand and marketing leader and expert in the areas of strategic brand management, brand engagement, brand expression, marketing, communications, business development, and reputation management. Former managing director of global brand & marketing at Deloitte, Luis provided leadership to Deloitte's member firm network of more than three thousand marketing and communications professionals. Author of the book: Brands & Rousers, The Holistic System to Foster High-Performing Businesses, Brands and Careers. Luis is the founder of Thap Group, a multinational consultancy focused on brand, marketing and communications strategy, and he sits on the advisory board of several high-growth organizations.

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