What’s the best leadership style? It depends

As consultants, we’re leaders and influencers.

And we help our clients, as leaders, to be at their best.

What, then, is the best leadership style?

It depends.

Leadership, to be great, must be right for the time, the goals of the team or organization, the resources that can be rounded up for the cause, and for the followers. And, of course, the leadership style that’s effective must work for the leader, him or herself.

Sometimes a forceful, directive leadership style works best.

Sometimes a calming presence is the strongest way to lead a team or organization, especially one that’s under great duress.

At other times, a coaching style, or a collaborative style is most right for the times an organization is moving through to reach something better than the times they’re in.

Think back on your own leadership experiences:

– When have you been most effective as a leader?
– What leadership style did you use at that time, in that place, with that group?
– What made your style effective, in that case?
– Is the leadership style you used the style you planned to use, or did something in that experience force you to change your style in order for you to be successful leading that team?
– What did you learn from that experience?
– How did you use what you learned to improve your leadership, or your advice to a client in future circumstances?

jan@jgrichardsresults.com' About Jan Richards

Principal of J. G. Richards Consulting, Jan helps companies improve profitability and revenue as they decrease business complexity and costs. This occurs in many ways, including: streamlining business operations; project management for major change and process improvement teams; coaching leaders of major change programs; creating long-range visions and strategic plans. A WIC Board member, Jan oversees WIC's strategic initiatives and mentoring programs.


  1. I really want to work on my leadership skills and this might really help. Thank you for posting this.

  2. Jan Richards says:
    June 9th, 2009 at 10:04 pm – Edit
    Hi Jenny, I’m glad this post was helpful – and I’ll provide more along these lines on the WIC website and my business website, based on your feedback.

    Another resource you might find helpful is a report I posted recently on my business website, http://www.jgrichardsresults.com. The report, “Firewalking: Leading Teams Successfully Through Uncertain Times,” addresses the challenges of leading during times of great change and unpredictability – which many people must deal with now.

    I’m glad you found this post helpful – and appreciate the feedback.

    Best regards, Jenny,

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