Leadership: If you are a leader, what is your style?


This post I dedicate to  (Aisara, this is for you!!!)))))

After my first post (“Educational leadership: a Myth or a Reality?”), you asked me to explain in more details the main styles of Leadership. I wanted to do it face-to-face, but then, other people from Multilingual cohort asked me to share this information with them too. Actually, that is the reason, why I am publishing this post here, on nuwriters.wordpress.com. I hope, every student who wants to know about Leadership styles will be able to read, and then to use this information somewhere in the future =)))

Depending on circumstances, believes, attitudes, values and people being involved, 7 different styles of leadership namely charismatic, participative, situational, transactional, servant, quite and transformational appeared.

Let me explain all of them, except transformational (if you are interested in this style of leadership, please go to Aisara’s post about “A businessman and a school leader: the new concept of school leadership in the USA” and read my Loooooooong comment! Aisara, sorry for that!)

Charismatic Leadership is one of the most popular styles where the leader uses charm to attract and conquer the followers’ attention creating friendly atmosphere by making the followers feel that the leader is listening to them and that they have a voice in decision making (Dems, K., 2011). However, it is not always true, that is why this style of leadership isn’t considered to be the one that can be successfully utilized in Education. Famous examples of charismatic leaders are: Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler (who is also not the best example for students).

Participative Leadership is different from a previous one. In this case, the leader acts more like a “facilitator” than a dictator, who collects the mind of the group under his or her leadership, but after all, the final word always rests with the leader (Dems, K., 2011). This type of leadership can be used in Education, but in reality it will not make any sense of change owing to the fact that teacher-student model will just copy the administrator-educator model. A famous example of the participative leadership is Donald Trump.

Situational Leadership emerges during a particular situation. The leaders need to be adaptable and dynamic as the different situations they are facing with (Dems, K., 2011). This type is effective only in some cases and cannot be generalized. I think that all of us are looking for a common style which can be used in different educational cases (situations). An example of the situational leadership is Dwight Eisenhower.

Transactional Leader motivates the followers (“subordinates”) by presenting them rewards and punishments depending on their ability to satisfy the stated requirements (Dems, K., 2011). By using this type, the dictatorship in education will never be won. Examples of such leadership style are McCarthy and Charles de Gaulle.

Quiet Leaders do not force or command people to do something, they do what really needs to be done, inspiring followers to do the same (Dems, K., 2011). I, personally, refer myself to this type of leaders. However, this style does not satisfy the modern world requirement which states that it is time for active actions. Famous example is Abraham Lincoln.

Servant Leader serves his or her followers taking care of these followers’ need before they realize this need themselves (Dems, K., 2011). I confirm that the style that is used nowadays by educators is the servant leadership which must be changed. Famous examples are Gandhi and Washington.

Transformational Leader is motivated by his or her followers, and followers are motivated by their leader who uses their ideas and skills to create something valuable for all the members of these reciprocal relationships (Dems, K., 2011). Famous examples of this type of leaders are Martin Luther King Jr. and Walt Disney. This type of leadership combines the characteristics of all previous ones:

  • taking charismaticness from charismatic leadership,
  • “facilitator” effect from participative leadership,
  • adaptability and dynamic development from situational leadership,
  • rewards for a good job from transactional leadership,
  • self-example from quite leadership,
  • self-dedication and an ability to serve the followers from servant leadership model.

In order to reach the goal, a clear sense of purpose articulated simply is needed, as well as high expectations, insistence, desire for learning, enthusiasm, strategy, emotions, courage, risk-taking and risk-sharing, vision of future success, sense of public need, spirit of cooperation, mentoring and life-long learners who identify themselves as change agents.

I tried not to use long definitions given by famous authors and explained these styles of Leadership in the easiest way. Definitely, other styles of leadership also exist because the world goes around and new leaders come into the arena, these leaders bring us new styles of leadership. Who knows what expects us in the future! I will not be surprised if after 5 years, I would read about Nazarbayev’s Leadership style or Yessenova Leadership style… Let time decide who we really are)))


Dems, K. (2011). Famous examples of leadership styles, Bright Hub, 4(1),1-3. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from <http://www.brighthub.com/office/home/articles/76450.aspx&gt;.

9 thoughts on “Leadership: If you are a leader, what is your style?

  1. Let me express my gratitude for shedding light on the types of leadership existing at present. Hope that other multilingual education people will elicit relevant information from this post. It is a brilliant idea of using comprehensible formulations of the leadership backed up with the examples of the eminent leaders of a particular type. Having read this post I come to conclusion that each type of the leadership mirrors a particular trait of the temperament. To illustrate this, quiet leaders seem to possess the behavior of phlegmatics who calmly, step by step deal with things while the transformational leaders are associated with the sanguine persons.Sanguine temperament allows transformational leaders to spark one’s aspiration to grow and come into being by relentless efforts and optimism coupled with an ability to overcome difficulties, to communicate with people of different dispositions.

    When it comes to my capabilities to create a style of leadership, I am not so optimistic as you. But man supposes, God disposes. The challenges we face, knowledge we pursue, people we meet, aims we achieve shape our beliefs. Perhaps, in a remote future one of us will come up with own concept of leadership by own example or by encapsulating the major findings on the nature of the leadership.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great post, Aliya Mustafina. It was a good idea of sharing this with everybody, not only with one person. In this sense, it makes other cohorts get acquainted about your major. It is very helpful and interesting data for all, not only School Leadership cohort. For some moment I felt jealous of your programme!:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was pleased to read this easy flowing and clear post about leadership, which is not my strongest area of knowledge. I really appreciate the examples of famous people falling under the categories of various kinds of leadership. How do you think, what leadership type (or combination of types) is the most efficient not only in education, but also in every day life? (E.g. when meeting new people, collaborating in groups, dealing with conflicts)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice and very informative post Aliya!
      I would like to add one more leadership style that is considered to be the most important for the school improvement. School improvement in its turn, includes enhancement of teachers’ skills, improvement of organizational structures and curriculum and development of highly collaborative relationships between teachers, parents and other members of community. The effectiveness of instructional leadership is directly depends on school climate and culture. According to Hellinger (2009) the main role in instructional leadership is responsibility of principals (Hellinger, 2009). Weber (1989) also emphasized that effectiveness of instructional leadership depends on principal behavior. He points out five major activities that principals are in charge of including: defining the school’s mission; managing curriculum and instruction; promoting a positive learning climate; observing teachers and providing feedback; and assessing the instructional program (Weber, 2009). Besides, instructional leaders should understand set of interactions between school community and principal believes and values, in addition to it, leaders should address the expectations of the community. Leaders of instructional leadership have a great influence on internal structure of the school which constitutes from school culture and climate, instructional practices and organizations. As much effective principal operates this structure, the better students’ achievement and school performance.


      1. Weber, J. (1996). Leading the instructional program. In S. C. Smith & P. K. Piele (Eds.) (1996) School leadership – handbook for excellence (3rd Ed.), pp. 253 – 278. Eugene: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management.
        Hallinger, P. (2009). Leadership for twenty first century schools: From instructional leadership to leadership for learning. Hong Kong Institute for Education.


      2. Dear Zukhra,

        Thank you very much for your comment! This is really very useful information. I did not know about this type of Leadership. Thanks to you, I was able to fill the gaps in my knowledge… As I mentioned before, I would not be surprised if new types of Leadership have already appeared =))) I am proud that this topic provoked so many different opinions and questions! I do really appreciate your participation =)))

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Dear Shynar,

      To tell the truth, when I surfed the internet searching for the examples, I noticed that sometimes these examples were very controversial…I would say confusing… Let’s take the representatives of the Charismatic Leadership style: Mother Teresa and Adolf Hitler. There is no doubt that each of them possessed the characteristics of the Charismatic Leader, however, together these persons are the perfect example of antithesis! If you ask people: “What is the difference between these two?”, almost all of them will have approximately the same answer: “Mother Teresa saved and helped people, while Hitler killed them!” And that is actually the truth… which fully falls under The Moral Law. The only similarity which I can see there is that they appeared to be the different ends of this Moral spectrum. The so called “Dichotomy of good and bad”.
      As for the question “How do you think, what leadership type (or combination of types) is the most efficient not only in education, but also in every day life?”… I would say that I have no answer to your question. Let’s look at the whole problem from the realistic point of view, there is no universal leadership type. Each type is unique… As you can see above, even examples do not fully satisfy the descriptions. Sometimes people, who try to generalize, fail, because the notion of “generalization” does not work in our diversified world. Personally, I do not feel confident enough to make judgement and decide what type is the most efficient one.
      Dear Shynar, I only tried to shed the light on the roads of Leadership. Now, looking at these roads, you are free to choose your own way… No matter, what way you would go, it definitely is the right track!

      Who knows, may be I will be your fellow-road tripper =)))


  4. Thank you! I’ve never heard about “quiet” leadership before. Actually, I think that a leader of this type often do most of the work him/herself =). And he or she can’t lead the whole organization, because usually even inspired people are very lazy to make their goals true.
    Transformational leadership absorbs the most sufficient features of every others. And most probably it is considered the best. Have you ever met a transformational leader?


    1. Dear Katerina,

      Thank you for your comment. I fully agree with you, “quiet” leaders are the most productive ones, but such work makes them be responsible almost for everything… In addition, I think that you are talking particularly about the Kazakhstani context (“usually even inspired people are very lazy to make their goals true”)… However, I do really believe that our national habit will change in the course of time…
      As for your question about Transformational Leaders… As I have mentioned in my previous blog “…we (master students) are supposed to contribute to educational development of the country successfully implementing knowledge given by true leaders (our professors)..” That is why I think that I can say that I have met true leaders, moreover, I see them every day and communicate with potential future leaders as well… =)))

      Kind regards,

      Liked by 1 person

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