DnA - Executive Transformation Network
DNA Leadership styles

Every team member is different.  Depending on their role, objectives, personalities and capabilities, business leaders, need to be flexible in how they lead to success, as also prepare for the future. In the present times, we see that how we approach team members and support them, is evolving. The modern digitised age and thinking requires more agility from the leadership team than before. Good leadership is like art. Not all art suits the needs of all! It requires the right adaptation pending the audience

In a recent column on one of the Linkedin groups, we found the following shocking statement:

Only 18% of people in a leadership role are influential leaders and coaches to their teams!

You may be great in hitting your targets, but does that also mean you can elevate your team to grow and be successful? Leadership is not just knowing how to do things well, but knowing how to get your team members to evolve and excel in whatever task they need to accomplish.

In one of our previous engagements, we gladly took part in the leadership styles training. The role, the impact and the road to a successful team:

  1. The Leaders dominant personal behaviour, adaptability, conformity
  2. The team member: Individual backgrounds, history and aspirations, their and organisational needs

When leading (international) teams with different cultural and regional backgrounds, applying the right level of awareness is essential to achieve trust and growth. We thought this blog will enable you to gain more insights in you as (aspirational) leader. If you aim to be a better leader, then continue reading.

let´s put more context around the different styles, and help you gain insights in your dominant style and the impact it may have to your team!

Laissez-Faire/Delegative Leadership

The leader gives free rein to their team. They allow the team members to make decisions for the organisation. Often zero to little guidance is provided by the leader to undertake the decision making. In general, the team are expected to solve their own and shoulder their work responsibilities independently. Though this style is adopted by many organisations, it can also lead to low productivity amongst the Team Members if they are inexperienced or not motivated enough to set and chase their deadlines.

Leader attitude: You can make your own decisions

Autocratic/Authoritarian Leadership

It’s one of the oldest leadership forms. The leader exercises consistent control and absolute power on Team Members. His decision is deemed to be final, and his authority cannot be challenged.

Leaders attitude: I have the power to decide, you "HAVE" to follow my orders

Participative/Democratic Leadership

As the leader, they encourage the team to contribute to a decision-making process of the organisation. Though the ideas of team are welcome, it’s the leader who makes the final decision. This supports the positive impact on productivity and motivation quotient of the team members. While you guide operations and management. The team execute suggestions for successful completion of a task. They have been involved and carry shared responsibility for the results.

Leaders attitude: Your ideas are welcome, but I will make the final decision

Bureaucratic Leadership

A bureaucratic leader likes to follow all the rules, policies and procedures of the organisation, and expects the team to do the same. In many cases, bureaucratic leaders get their position because they can conform to the rules, not because of their qualifications. 

This type of leadership does not have the scope for innovation and creativity; however, it can be beneficial for the organisation where the same kind of work needs to be completed (factory work). It can end up demotivating the employees as the leader may act as a strict “Policy Police”.

Leaders Attitude: This is the company policy, you "MUST" follow it at all times

Transactional Leadership

The leader creates a formal structure enlisting the expected results from the team and the rewards for completing the task. Failure in executing may attract punishment. In this type of leadership, the team is influenced by rewards and punishments. They must obey the orders of the leader.

Leaders attitude: You complete the task; you get an incentive. If you don't, you will see

We do not call this leadership, but management! Somehow we have adversity against managers as in current times; team members do not stay long when micromanaged.

Transformational Leadership

A transformational leader motivates the team by uplifting their morale and performance by inspiring them. He/She has a clear goal and vision, and an ability to infuse energy and enthusiasm to the entire group. This type of leader has a positive impact on the team. Helps them in achieving the organisation goals.

Leaders attitude: We can do it together!

Transformational leaders thrive in organisations who are required to change direction or to seek continuous improvement. Motivating their team to do better and making them understand the impact they are making on the business.

Paternalistic Leadership

Typical dominant leaders who act as a father figure to their team. There is a need to protect and control the team, make them loyal and committed towards the organisation. This direction works well in an organisation that has a definite hierarchy structure.

Leaders attitude: You can share your problems, I am listening

Task-Oriented Leadership

A task-oriented leader focussed attention on completing the series of tasks and all the processes that help achieve the organisation goals. They do not give employee satisfaction or motivation much importance. They concentrate on the execution of tasks. Often these kinds of leaders are analytical and delegate work to complete within a given time frame.

Leaders attitude: You have to complete this task before the end of the day

Charismatic Leadership:

Charismatic leaders have a magnetic personality which they use to exercise leadership rather than exercising authority. Team members are in awe of the charm of the leader and like to emulate. They believe that their group is distinct and superior to others. Such leaders often create an unchallengeable position for themselves in the organisation.

Leaders attitude: We are the best team ever

Servant Leadership

In servant leadership, there is a decentralised structure. The training needs of individuals are understood and developed to help them perform better. In the absence of completion, this leadership style enhances the productivity and creativity quotient significantly.

Leaders attitude: let's all contribute towards success!

People-Oriented Leadership/ relation-oriented Leadership

The leader gives utmost importance to motivation, development and well-being of the team. The leader acts as a mentor, values opinions during the decision making process. He/She fosters a positive working environment and encourages to perform better.

Leaders attitude: You can do it, I will help you out

Neurocritical Leadership

These leaders are highly motivated and task-oriented individuals. They try and get the work done at any cost and do not like to face failure. Often they are emotionally driven persons and at some times eccentric. They usually take decisions without informing their team members.

Leaders attitude: if you don't complete that task today, it will reflect on "MY" performance

Sociocratic Leadership

Leaders who fit in this box create a social club in the organisation. They give more importance to interpersonal relations amongst the team members than the tasks at hand. They ensure that the team are happy and satisfied by creating a positive social environment.

Leaders attitude: How about team building outing next weekend?

Narcissistic leadership

This kind of leadership exists when the leader is a narcissist and pushes his agenda at the expense of the team members. They are only interested in the protection of their interests. They have an inflated ego and a constant hunger for power. They may even resort to arrogance which can be detrimental to team spirit.

Leaders attitude: "MY" word is the last"! I don't care if you have to work on weekends

Pacesetting Leadership

These leaders set high standards for themselves and expect the team members to do the same. A pacesetting leader has a good knack of identifying low performers and can replace them immediately. If they think that work is not going at the desired pace, they may take over the task to complete this themselves.

Leaders attitude: I will complete this task in no time. Watch and Learn!

Coaching Leadership

Typically they help team members by coaching and guiding them. There is two-way communication. Though the leader is the final decision maker, they encourage the team member to provide inputs. Motivate them to enhance their knowledge and strengthen their skillset

Leaders attitude: Don't worry, I will guide you in this project


There are different approaches leaders take. The art is to apply the right approach taking into account personality, history, objectives and results. By being aware of your dominant style, using the right level of flexibility to the individual needs of your team, you can set the base for trust, innovation, ownership and accountability. Do this right, and you will enable a whole new dimension of creativity, belonging and drive. 

This blog has been co-written by Rahim Gulamali and Coraline van Hoeymissen. A special thanks to Coraline for elevating our thinking, and enabling us to grow a little bit more. The workshop gave good insights and helped us to adapt to the needs of our teams.

Want to know more about Coraline, check out her LinkedIn profile. She also left a recommendation of our work with her. Connect with her via LinkedIn. She is a great freelance HR business partner where we have worked with in the past.


Business coach, Program Lead, Interim CXO, COO, CIO, CSO, from strategic design to physical delivery! Passionate about growing people and a firm believer that the journey is just as important as the ultimate goal. By empowering team members we create the entrepreneurs of the future!Recognised (see recommendations) by former clients, team members and partners as the go-to person when it comes to his track record in delivering purpose and meaning in transformations! Rahim is the power behind Duchain & Associates, a network of Growth Consultants! Completed over 50 successful programs over the past 20 years at a success rate of 98%, Impressive!Pioneer in the area of transformational consulting, leadership and organisational development, topped up with in-exhaustive energy, creativity and passion make him one of the most desirable transformational leads working in today´s market!Rahim is based in Barcelona (Spain)! His work area extends to EMEA and US with past engagements covering most continents!A fun fact. Rahim is a wannabe DJ (a source of creativity), a devoted husband and father (The caring part) and Dogwalker (he calls this sports). Connect and grow with us!