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Does the discussion of Leadership Styles merit a place in Leadership Development?

I’ve just returned from delivering teamwork training in Kuwait and, inevitably, this touched on the concept of leadership and leadership styles.  Participants on the programme were keen to know what I thought the “best leadership style” was, even though they recognised that this might be situational.

Out of interest, I entered ‘leadership styles’ into Google. Thirteen million responses suggested that leadership could be Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Charismatic, Democratic, Emergent, Facilitative….through to Servant, Transactional, Transformational and Visionary: pretty much a leadership style for every letter of the alphabet. You might be able to find an X, Y and Z…..

In attempting to answer my learners’ questions directly, I found myself explaining the following conclusions that I have come to over recent years. You may or may not agree with me that the concept of ‘leadership styles’ is an outdated one. However, I much prefer to think of leadership as a set of attitudes, values, skills and behaviours that are applied consistently, rather than a ‘style’ that is changed depending upon the context.

I believe that leaders are accountable for four key things in any organisation.

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