To be successful, you must be a great leader. Being a leader isn’t just about taking control of your team and telling them what to do. It requires knowing how to adapt your leadership skills to a variety of scenarios and situations. Every assignment and work scenario calls for a different type of leadership style. To be a great leader, you must master these styles and understand when each would be best implemented. There are four types of leadership styles that will lead you and your team to success.


When your team is lost in an assignment, unsure of what to do or how it needs to be done, the “Directing Leadership Style” should be used. When using this style, give clear and specific instructions to your team for the assignment to be completed. This means delegating exactly what needs to be done and how to get the job done.  


In some scenarios, your team will need to know the “why” of an assignment. When a greater understanding of an assignment is needed, apply the “Teaching Leadership Style”. This requires explaining to your team members why the work needs to be done when they have lost confidence in their work or are no longer committed to the assignment.


Unlike a “directing” approach when work needs to be done, sometimes all that is needed is a positive nudge in the right direction. When your team is doing the work and doing it well, but occasionally need encouragement to get passed an obstacle during an assignment, employ an “Advising Leadership Style”. Provide them with a little more clarity and support to get the job done.


At times the best direction is no direction at all. When your team is given an assignment and is completely competent on how to get it done, apply the “Empowering Leadership Style”. This simply means encouraging them from the sidelines and providing them with positive support.

It’s important to master leadership styles in order to be successful. Know which style is best for each assignment your team is faced with. Leadership is a skill and can’t be mastered overnight. But there are many ways to get started. You can seek leadership guidance from a professional coach, mentor, or a fellow leader to develop new styles and practice them for different situations. Leadership is a learning process–for you and your team. It will take time to adopt these skills and develop the correct styles that work for your team, but will lead you to success.