The 4 Positive Leadership Styles (and the 2 Most Negative…)

What Makes a Leader?

Daniel Goleman’s article “What makes a Leader?” is the single most requested article in the history of the Harvard Business Review.  He looked at what leaders actually do, and what impact these behaviours have on the people around them.

Goleman is the psychologist who introduced the term “Emotional Intelligence” to the field of human behaviour.  In his research at nearly 200 large, global companies, Goleman found that truly effective leaders are distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence. Without it, a person can have first-class training, an incisive mind, and an endless supply of good ideas, but still will not be a great leader.

Emotional Intelligence

The chief components of emotional intelligence are:

  • self-awareness,
  • self-regulation,
  • motivation,
  • empathy, and
  • social skill

The 4 Positive Leadership Styles

  1. Visionary – big vision
  2. Coach – gets best out of others
  3. Affiliate – have a good time
  4. Consensus – brings in many views

The 2 Most Negative Leadership Styles

  1. Pace-setter – leads thru example but believes nobody else is quite as good as them
  2. Command and Control – coercive and bullying


Daniel Goleman Interview…

These 6 styles are described by Daniel Goleman in the interview below.

* What Makes a Leader? Daniel Goleman, 2004


If you liked this post, you will also enjoy the posts What is Leadership? and What is Mentorship?

Author: Conor Neill

Hi, I’m Conor Neill, an Entrepreneur and Teacher at IESE Business School. I speak about Moving People to Action.

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