Leadership Styles: What Type of Leader Are You? [Infographic]

Everyone has their own way of dealing with others. Especially when it comes to motivating and inspiring our employees. However, research from Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee suggests we all fall into one of six leadership styles. The more we know about these styles, the easier we can use them to our advantage. So, what kind of leader are you?

Exploring Leadership Styles

What we call leadership is really the ability to motivate and inspire others. The research suggests there are six specific ways in which we do this. They range from the commanding leader, who gives orders and expects them to be followed, to the affiliative leader who motivates through praise and nurturing. The infographic below, provided by Headway Capital, will help you understand what kind of leader you are.

The problem, of course, is not every leadership style is effective in every situation, or with every employee. Just as we lead differently, each of our employees responds in their own way. Also, every situation requires its own approach. Thankfully, the information below goes beyond simply identifying your style. It will help you become familiar with all of the leadership styles. It also suggests ways to adapt to the situation at hand.

Your leadership style is a part of who you are. The most effective leaders, however, know how to use all these leadership styles and adapt. You may feel best doing things from the heart. But, as the old saying goes, “a leader with no followers is just a guy taking a walk.”


leadership styles



Ron Damon

Ron Damon is a writer, editor, actor, poet, and social media enthusiast. A former teacher of English and Theater, Ron now concentrates on writing and editing full time. He is not the least bit embarrassed about being a cliché. Ron is a proud member of the Switch and Shift team.

  • Thanks for sharing this. As a manager, it’s hard to know when to switch styles. I know several managers that are hesitant to switch styles because they feel that they won’t be taken seriously, but I bet this would encourage them too. Great post, Ron!

    Brooke Harper

  • helen bevan

    I think this is great content, really clearly displayed but I find the gender stereotyping shocking. I know that Ron probably wrote the content (which is completely gender neutral) and someone else probably created the pictures. It’s such a shame that nearly all the leaders on the infographic are men. The only female leader is “affiliative”, showing typical female “nurturing” traits. Images matter a lot because they convey our perceptions about roles. Come on Switch and Shift, this is the 21st century.

    I would love to share this content and to tweet the infographic but I can’t in its current form. Ron, could you produce another version where the pictures are as appropriate as the language you have used?

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