Most Effective Leadership & Management Styles & Approaches

Workers Vs Leaders Vs Managers

Figure 1: Workers Vs Leaders Vs Managers (Source: Burdett 2015).

Management and leadership play an important role in achieving the goals of the organisation. Managers are the one that are responsible in monitoring the development of the team in getting the work done (Mullins 2013). For leaders, they are the one that influence the attitudes and decisions of the team in achieving the same vision together (Yukl 2010). Management and leadership may be similar but it is different in term of how one uses it. Both management and leadership consist of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling. The only difference is that leadership will also include the vision, passion and influence (Kelly 2015: 7).

Table 1: Differences of Manger and Leader (Source: Bennis 2009).


leadership and management

Figure 2: Leaders vs Managers (Source: Sankaranarayanan 2014).

Having a good leadership style is beneficial for a leader in leading and managing the team. In order to be successful, the leader must first understand the team and at the same time able to implement the best approach in managing the team. It is also stated there are no best leadership styles because it depends on the circumstances and also the personality of the leader (CMI 2013).

The video about the “Dancing Guy” is a good example of how the behaviour of a leader can influence the actions of others. In the beginning, when he started dancing suddenly, no one was willing to join. The unwillingness of people depends on each individual personality and also their psychological states at that time. After much time and effort, one after another, each viewer had started dancing as well. In the end of the video, the leader was able to influence most of the viewers that were there and their personality had changed compared to at the beginning of the video.

Video 1: First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy (Source: Sivers 2010).

Video 2: Leadership Styles (Source: CommLab India 2011).

Authoritarian (or autocratic) leadership style is where the leaders make their own plans and have control on the development of the team. Leaders making their own plan mean that the risk is reduced and they are in control of all the decisions. However, if the gap between the leaders and the team is too wide, then communication between them will be affected (Cherry 2015a).

Democratic leadership style is considered the most effective in an organisation. This style enables both the leaders and the team to communicate with each other for decision making.  The only problem with this style is that it takes a long time in making the final decision (Money-Zine 2016).

Laissez-faire (or genuine) leadership style is where the leaders allow the team to freely make their own individual decision (Cherry 2016). This style is useful when the employees have been trained properly and very experienced in their work. The problem with this style is that without any leadership and supervision especially for those that are not properly trained, it may lead to low productivity, lack in control and the costs may even increase (Johnson 2016).

Figure 3: Autocratic, Laissez-faire, and Democratic Leadership Style (Source: Kellie 2013).

Figure 4: Leadership Styles (Source: Mehta 2014).

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon uses the authoritative leadership style in leading in his team. It is said that he is someone who can inspire and persuade others but at the same time also irritate and criticize others as well (Kaplan 2011). It can be seen that many that follows him sometimes quit due to being overwhelm with workload (Rosenbaum 2014). However, many of his followers still look up to him and are inspired by his vision in being the world’s most consumer-centric company that meets the customer’s expectation (Entrepreneur 2008).

jim bezos, amazon,

Figure 5: Jeff Bezos (Source: Weisenthal 2013).

Bill Gates is also a great leader who uses a mix of authoritative, delegate and also participation style throughout his business. He takes into account the opinions from his employees in order to build trust and loyalty between him and his employees (Khan 2015). He also stated that for the best solution, one way will be to have a competitive atmosphere. He is also considered to be a leader that is able to influence the transformation of the world (Mirror Business 2015).

Bill Gates: Windows 8 Key to Where Personal Computing Is Going

Figure 6: Bill Gates (Source: LeClaire 2012).

Figure 7: The 7 Leadership Styles Displayed by Great Leaders (Source: Savonije 2015).

In my opinion, I will believe that the transformational leadership is the most effective approach to managing and leading the team to be successful in achieving the goals. They are the ones that not only create the vision, they are also the ones that integrate both the commitment and change to the team in order to achieve future goals (Pachamama Alliance 2016).

Transformational leaders are ones that go beyond self-interest by having a deep understanding of organisations and their followers and achieving a change in the organisation (Morgan 1989). Leaders who adopt this approach are able to inspire others and have a positive effect on their followers. They are also considered as being charismatic, energetic, enthusiastic, and also passionate in changing and leading the organisations (Cherry 2015b).

Figure 8: Transformational Leadership (Source: Murray 2015).

Therefore, I will agree with the term as stated by CMI in 2013 where there are no leadership styles that are ideal for a leader to use because the best approach may be different depending on the circumstances and personality of the individual.

(777 words)



Bennis, W. (2009) On Becoming a Leader New York: Basic Book [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Burdett, L (2015) Workers Vs Leaders Vs Managers [online] available from < > [8 March 2016]

Cherry, K. (2015a) What Is Autocratic Leadership?  [online] available from < > [8 March 2016]

Cherry, K. (2015b) What Is Transformational Leadership? [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Cherry, K. (2016) What Is Laissez-Faire Leadership? [online] available from < > [5 March 2016]

CMI (2013) Understanding Management Styles Checklist 236 [online] available from < > [7 March 2016]

CommLab India (2011) Leadership Styles [online] available from < > [5 March 2016]

Entrepreneur (2008) Growth Strategies: Jeff Bezos the King of E-Commerce [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Johnson, R. (2016) 5 Different Types of Leadership Styles [online] available from < > [7 March 2016]

Kaplan, S. (2011) ‘Persistence is Best Predictor of CEO Success: Steven N. Kaplan’. Bloomberg [online] 26 October. available from < > [8 March 2016]

Kellie, R. (2013) What Leadership Style Are YOU? available from < > [6 March 2016]

Kelly, J. (2015) ‘Change Your Management Mindset’. Supervision [online] 76 (10), 7-9. available from < > [6 March 2016]

Khan, S. (2015) What makes Bill Gates a great leader [online] available from < > [5 March 2016]

LeClaire, J. (2012) Bill Gates: Windows 8 Key to Where Personal Computing Is Going [online] available from < > [4 March 2016]

Mehta, D. (2014) What’s your Leadership Style?  [online] available from < > [4 March 2016]

Mirror Business (2015) Bill Gate’s Transactional Leadership Style [online] available from <; [6 March 2016]

Money-Zine (2016) Democratic Leadership [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Morgan, G. (1989) Creative Organization Theory. Newbury Park, CA: Sage

Mullins, L.J. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour. 10th edn. Harlow: Pearson

Murray, R. M. (2015) Transformational Theory Page [online] available from < > [5 March 2016]

Pachamama Alliance (2016) Transformational Leadership [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Rosenbaum, S. (2014) ‘Leading From Behind: The Secrets to Jeff Bezos’ Success’. Forbes [online] 10 February. available from < >  [6 March 2016]

Sankaranarayanan, S. (2014) Leader Vs. ManagerWhat Is The Connecting Thread? [online] available from <; [5 March 2016]

Savonije, W. (2015) 7 Different Leadership Styles [online] available from < > [7 March 2016]

Sivers, D. (2010) First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Weisenthal, J. (2013) Jeff Bezos Invests In Business Insider [Full Internal Memo] [online] available from < > [6 March 2016]

Yukl, G. (2010) Leadership in Organizations. 7th edn. New Jersey: Pearson Education


12 thoughts on “Most Effective Leadership & Management Styles & Approaches

  1. Hi Law,

    Well-written blog.

    You’ve mentioned Donald Trump in the picture of exemplary leaders.

    In the recent presidential race in the United States, how do you feel he could have improved his image as a leader, and what improvements he could have made to be an inspiration to Americans? His many controversial comments earlier have ignited a major protest in Chicago recently (forcing a shutdown of his rally there), what could have been done to avoid such an incident?

    David Tay

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David,

      This is all based on my own opinion.

      Donald Trump is considered great leader especially as a businessman as he knows how to get things done and also able to tell people what they want to hear. However, I would also agree with you that something should have been avoided in regards to the current events that is happening.

      Donald Trump should have consider the situation before making those speeches. He should be charismatic and should not encourage violence. He should be equal to everyone under the law. To be an open society, the society must protects the rights of all including both the popular and unpopular.


  2. Hi Law,
    One small gramatical error I found in your 1st paragraph, 2nd line:
    “…responsible in monitor [monitoring] the development….”

    Referring to your Figure 4: Leadership Styles (Source: Mehta 2014).
    How you you describe (in your own words) the overlapping portion of “The perfect leader”?


    1. Hi Wong,

      Thanks for pointing out my mistakes.

      CMI (2013) has stated that there is no ideal leadership as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics. It means that there is no single “best” method in managing or leading the team.

      Leaders who strife to be perfect should be flexible in using different theories or model that suits the situation (Yukl 2009).

      For example, how do we manage a difficult employee in a team? The leader could look up and use different strategies in determining which is the most suitable and effective approach in managing that particular person.


  3. Hi, Law

    You did good job.

    The video about the “Dancing Guy is very interesting example and Video. you was able to explain about effective leadership and management styles well. However, In example of Bill Gates, I hope that you explain more detail of the best solution you wrote.




    1. Hi Susumu,

      As for Bill Gates, his leadership styles consist of a mix of autocratic, participating and delegate.
      1. He adopted autocratic style because Bill Gates is a competent leader and he is knowledgeable enough to decide about each and everything.
      2. Before, he was not a participative leader due to being uncomfortable in letting others make the decisions. After Bill Gates found that he could do everything on his own, he then decided to be delegate by hiring the most talented employees and giving autonomy to his managers.
      3. He also adopts a transformational leadership style by appealing to his employee’s emotions through tactics such as motivation and support.


  4. Hi Law!

    Great, really had fun reading your blog. It was very informative and there are lots of examples about leaders.

    I noted that you mentioned Bill Gates has 3 types of leadership styles. Is it correct if we would assume that he is practicing a situational leadership style?


    1. Hi Oliver,

      Before, Bill Gates was more to a transactional leader where monitor the behaviour of his employees through rewarding or punishing them based on the work that they perform. He then changes his style to be more transformational where he care more of his employees bu supporting and motivation them.


      1. Hi Law!

        Your explanation is on point. I believe in certain circumstances it is necessary to make a change in your leadership style to fit with the respective circumstances.


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