Are You a Jobs or a Gandhi? Understanding your leadership style



History has many examples of leaders who rallied people behind their cause and inspired change in their community. From Gandhi's non-violent resistance to Jobs' visionary ideas about technology, these are figures that countless leadership books have been written on.  So, what made them such effective leaders? What qualities did they embody that their impact is still being felt years after their deaths?


With so many leadership theories out there, it might be hard to discern what kind of qualities you should emulate to become a better leader. Before we can understand good characteristics of a leader, we should ascertain our leadership first. Understanding your leadership style will help you determine your strengths and weaknesses.


Most leadership styles can be grouped into 4 categories. Based on Lewin's and Bass' research, these 4 categories can be placed on a spectrum. And the graph below illustrates where each category lands.




The graph shows what each leadership style values: people or tasks. It is important to note that different situations call for different leadership styles. To understand how you can adjust your leadership style to the situation, you will need to have humility. A good leader acknowledges their shortcomings and work towards improvement. And research has shown that this quality correlates with better team performance. As such, there is no 'right' leadership style and you should aim to continuously improve your skills.


Leadership does not depend on being right. - Ivan Illich

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