Last week I wrote a few posts about different leadership styles identified by Kurt Lewin in his research. In the posts I reiterated the claim that there is no one right style of leadership, just different styles that work for different types of people depending on the environment they are in. I was criticized for not explaining what style works for what type of employee in what type of environment.

As a summary, these are the three types of leadership style that Lewin Identified:

So here it is, a guide to help you pick your leadership style for the moment. If you ignored those posts and now want to know what each style means, just go back a few posts and look them up.



A Leader’s Natural Style

The third dimension in this discussion would be the type of person that the leader is. Not all leaders can handle all types of leadership styles. As a result, the choice of leader becomes critical. You can’t expect someone who is naturally a delegate leader to thrive in an environment that needs someone authoritative.

Likewise, you can’t expect an authoritative leader to be effective where a lot of delegation is required.

The number of different permutations and combinations of environments, subordinates and leaders is fairly large. This is why companies get it wrong so often. It is easy to miss matching the need with the leader.