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Leadership Styles – Overview, Importance, Examples

Leadership is a critical element of success in any organization or team. It is the ability to guide, motivate, and inspire people towards achieving a common goal. There are various leadership styles that can be adopted depending on the situation, the followers, and the goals. You will understand the different leadership styles, their importance, and examples of leaders who have used these styles to achieve success.

Overview of leadership styles

Leadership styles are the different approaches that a leader can take to lead a team or organization. There are several leadership styles, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the common leadership styles:

  1. Autocratic leadership: In this leadership style, the leader has complete control over the team and makes all the decisions. The leader does not consider the opinions of the team members and expects them to follow orders. This style can be effective in certain situations, such as during a crisis when quick decisions need to be made.
  2. Transformational leadership: In this type of leadership style, the leader inspires and motivates the team to achieve a common goal. The leader encourages innovation, creativity, and risk-taking. Transformational leaders are known for their ability to create a vision and inspire their team to work towards it.
  3. Transactional leadership: In this leadership style, the leader focuses on maintaining order and efficiency. The leader sets clear expectations and rewards or punishes team members based on their performance. This style can be effective in situations where there are clear goals and objectives.
  4. Servant leadership: In this leadership style, the leader puts the needs of the team before their own. The leader focuses on empowering the team and helping them achieve their goals. Servant leaders are known for their ability to listen, empathize, and provide support to their team members.
  5. Democratic leadership: In this leadership style, the leader involves the team in the decision-making process. The leader listens to the opinions of the team members and considers their input before making a decision. This style can be effective in situations where there is a need for collaboration and teamwork.

Importance of leadership styles

The importance of leadership styles cannot be overstated. Here are some of the reasons why it is crucial to adopt the right leadership style:

  1. Improved productivity: When a leader adopts the right leadership style, it can improve productivity and efficiency. Leaders who are transformational or democratic can inspire their team to work harder and achieve better results.
  2. Better communication: Effective communication is critical in any organization or team. A leader who adopts a democratic or servant leadership style can create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their opinions and ideas.
  3. Increased employee engagement: When employees feel that their opinions are valued and that they are part of the decision-making process, they are more engaged and committed to their work.
  4. Higher retention rates: When employees feel engaged and valued, they are more likely to stay with the organization or team. This can result in lower turnover rates and reduced costs associated with recruitment and training.

Examples of leadership styles

There are many examples of leaders who have used different leadership styles to achieve success. Here are some of them:

  1. Autocratic leadership: Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, was known for his autocratic leadership style. He was known for being demanding and pushing his team to achieve the impossible. Despite his difficult personality, he was able to create products that revolutionized the tech industry.
  2. Transformational leadership: Oprah Winfrey is a transformational leader who has inspired millions of people around the world. She has used her platform to promote positivity, self-improvement, and social justice.
  3. Transactional leadership: Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, was known for his transactional leadership style. He set clear goals and expectations for his team and rewarded or punished them.

Executive Education

There are several leadership skills that can be developed by individuals. There are executive education programs that can help us do it. Let us take a look at a few of them offered by different universities. 

Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM)

The Berkeley Executive Program in Management (Berkeley EPM) is a general management program that prepares you for the next level of leadership. This program is created in such a way that it helps transform proven leaders into global executives ready to lead the charge. The Berkeley Executive Program in Management encourages its participants to reflect, enhance strategic thinking, and develop authentic leadership. It is designed to create an immersive, relevant, and dynamic learning experience for senior executives, ready for the next level of the leadership challenge. It includes modules on advanced management competencies, leading innovative change, etc., which are a must for a person in C-level positions to ensure the growth of the company.

MIT Professional Education Technology Leadership Program (TLP)

This is a multi-modular program delivered by MIT faculty on campus and virtually, geared towards the development needs of the next generation of technology CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and emerging leaders.  The program is designed for technology leaders and experienced practitioners from large corporations as well as startups—innovation-oriented firms that are focusing on leveraging emerging digital technologies to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. After completing TLP, you will be part of a cohort of global leaders and practitioners. You will also become an integral part of the global MIT Professional Education network and will be considered an alumni of TLP as well as MIT Professional Education.

UCLA Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives (UCLA PGPX)

It is an extensive general management program offered by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, one of the world’s top business schools. It is a part-time program with a modular format that provides great flexibility for busy professionals, while the UCLA faculty and industry leaders ensure that the program covers all aspects of best-in-class management education expected from a highly respected and globally renowned institution. The UCLA PGPX will put you on the map of global leadership, with a combination of strategies, skills, and acumen that will stretch your thinking and hone your abilities as a leader and manager capable of achieving remarkable growth in your business. This program has been designed to expose the participants to management and business leadership essentials in an extensive general management curriculum that is designed to be experiential in learning and applied in focus. 


Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program (ADP)

The Chicago Booth ADP is a rigorous learning journey across 8 modules spread over 9 months and gives you access to the latest management thinking and tools. It is taught by an award-winning faculty at the Chicago Booth School of Business and accomplished senior business leaders. It creates an amazing opportunity to build a strong personal brand and competitively position yourself and your organization. ADP actively engages you in a collaborative learning environment with accomplished peers in London, New Delhi, and Chicago. The Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program is designed for the global executive with a focus on delivering impact and leveraging the significant history of the Accelerated Development Program delivered across the globe, including London and India. The program is tailored for the busy schedules of senior professionals and is blended in design, with academic on-campus modules and off-campus experiences with online learning and live interactions to complement the on-campus experiences. You will build a global community of like-minded leaders and will become part of the Global ADP Network for life.


In conclusion, leadership styles play a critical role in the success of any organization or team. The right leadership style can improve productivity, communication, employee engagement, and retention rates. However, it is essential to choose the appropriate style based on the situation, the followers, and the goals. Different leaders have used various leadership styles to achieve success, and it is crucial to understand their strengths and weaknesses. As a leader, it is essential to be adaptable and flexible in adopting different leadership styles depending on the situation. By doing so, leaders can create a positive impact on their teams and achieve their goals.

Leading by examples helps in actively demonstrating the leader’s value to their team by showing that they carry some weight themselves. This also fosters engagement among employees.

Leadership style plays a significant role in the job they have and the way they communicate. Having an awareness of your personality style can allow you to communicate better, assess others’ needs, and forge productive relationships.

The average Chief Executive Officer salary in the United States is $812,010 as of January 26, 2023, according to

The democratic leadership style is considered one of the most effective styles as it encourages people or employees to participate in various processes, share their opinions, and give them an opportunity to be heard. This helps make the employees feel involved and valued.

An executive education program such as Chicago Booth Accelerated Development Program (ADP), can help you prepare to be a leader in an organization.

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