Wednesday, April 9, 2014


There are various styles of leadership that are used by business owners, church leaders and political leaders. Most will admit that when you are leading a diverse group of people, in order to be effective, several leadership styles must be incorporated into a leader's repertoire.  One style may work beautifully for one group of people while with another group it could be counterproductive.

It is important, in my opinion, to incorporate at least four styles of leadership and be able to vacillate between them, when appropriate.  Here are the four styles that I feel are necessary:

Authoritative style is when a leader maintains close control over the followers and has strict rules that must be followed.  There is no sharing in decision making and the explanation for why things are done is simply "because that's what I wanted to do". 

Democratic leaders share the decision making with those who are trusted followers.  This leader gets that he is not the smartest, most talented, or most experienced person in the room and is secure enough to relinquish some of his power.

Transformative leaders are able to inspire change and are also able to redirect the thinking of his followers. 

Authentic leaders put the goals and mission of the organization even above their own self interest. They lead with their heart.  This leader constantly reflects on his own strengths and weaknesses and is very transparent.  That is what attracts people to him.

It is not easy incorporating all of these types of leadership styles into your repertoire.  It takes time and experience.

I remember being a young leader in my own child care business.  At the age of 25, I was not secure enough to allow others to participate in the vision of my business. I felt that if I conceded or took the advice of my employees, I was giving up my power.  I found that my one leadership style was limiting my ability to be successful.  I was putting a ceiling on my potential and the potential of my business.  This thinking was also limiting my reach to only a certain type of follower. It took years of working with people of all ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn that, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL IN LEADERSHIP, if you are interested in running a successful organization.

Purchase the continuing education course: Leadership in Early Childhood Education.

Contact Networx LLC about consulting and training for early childhood educators and leaders.

Tina Oliver, M.Ed.
Training and Development Specialist

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