Most effective Leadership & Management Styles & approaches

Management and leadership are similar in terms of their functions, but are quite different in terms of themselves. People sometimes get confused about the role of a leader and a manager, though these two terms are often used interchangeably. Managers are promoters to the success of their subordinates. In order for the team to be successful and productive managers have to provide their employees the necessary resources (Benincasa, 2012). That is to make sure all employees are equipped with necessary skills by training, get the problems out of their way towards the completion of tasks and to ensure that employees are disciplined. Good managers are good at getting things done efficiently and effectively through others, furthermore, they need to be good at influencing, teaching and understanding others(Kevin Armstrong, 2013). We can refer managers as coaches.

Contrarily, a leader could be someone with distinct personality or capability, it could be anyone on the team as long as they can think out of the box which can inspire the others (Benincasa, 2012). A leader’s fascination is reflected on his own special strengths not on his position, it could be one’s previous experience in specific areas which sets them the authority of that area(Barbara, 2007). Based on Kevin’s video about difference bewteen leadership and management, you are a leader if you:

  • Do the right thing.
  • Look to the future.
  • Have a vision.
  • Have a set of clear beliefs.
  • Act in accordance with those beliefs regardless of what anyone might think, say or do.


People follows the leader because their leaders because they have strong beliefs (Kevin Armstrong, 2013). For example, Steve Jobs at Apple had a vision and belief of keeping things simple, he did not care about what other people’s thought. A great spiritual leader Martin Luther King JR. believed that “Every man should have equal rights regardless of skin color.” People followed him not because of him, but because of what he believed in (Kevin Armstrong, 2013).


A research shows that if you take a leader of a sports team and put him in a position of coach, you will have a less than 28.2% chance to succeed (Kevin Armstrong, 2013).

We can use these three key behaviors to measure each managing styles:

  • Task direction

This behavior is when a manager tells a employee what to do, as well as when, where, and how to do a task. This may involve teaching and training as well as directives and instructions(lynda, 2014).

  • Decision making

Decision making is the extent to which a manager involves employees in a decision making process which can be ranged from no involvement to complete involvement(lynda, 2014).

  • Relationship building

This is how the manager forms relationships with each employees as well as creating a work culture for the team, it includes coaching, motivating, open communication and respect(lynda, 2014).

According to Mullins there are Three leadership styles which are:

  1. Authoritarian

-Task direction: High

-Decision making: Low

-Relationship building: Low

This style is appropriate when employees have low levels of skill and initiatives or when the organization is in the crisis and needs immediate change. However the employees are not motivated and do not get opportunities to develop (Mullins, 2013).

  1. Democratic

-Task direction: Medium

-Decision making: Medium

-Relationship building: High

This is when a manager seeks input and feedback from all sides. They focus on what is best for the group as a whole so often make decisions based on majority preference for consensus. The down side of this style is that they may take too much time seeking input or ignoring the best decision (Mullins, 2013).

  1. Laissez-faire

-Task direction: Low

-Decision making: High

-Relationship building: Medium

We can call this style the visionary style, this leadership has an exciting vision in a good inspiring or persuading others to get on board. Often they are great at strategic thinking, but not so good at tactical skills. These managers are exemplified by the phrase: “Follow me” To thrive under this style, employees need to be independent, because they have to figure out the day-to-day work for themselves (Mullins, 2013).

Based on the above analysis of each different managing styles, the suggestions made by CMI 2013 is appropriate since there could be various circumstance and individual characteristics. As of myself, my preferred leadership style is the democratic style. Team members could express themselves and given instructions when necessary, in the end I would like to build a pleasant relationship with the leader in order to enjoy the work.


Barbara, K. (2007) ‘What Every Leader Needs to Know About Followers’, 85(12), p. 84.

Benincasa, R. (2012) 6 Leadership Styles, And When You Should Use Them. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Buckingham, M. (2005) ‘What great managers do’, IEEE Engineering Management Review, 33(2), pp. 3–3.

Cardinal, R. (2013) 6 management styles and when best to use them – The Leaders Tool Kit. Available at: (Accessed: 14 June 2015)

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2005) Inspired Leadership: ‘Insights into People who Inspire Exceptional Performances’. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Goleman, D. (1998) ‘What makes a leader’, Harvard Business Review, 76(6), pp. 93–102.

Kevin Armstrong (2013) What’s the difference between Leadership and Management. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Lynda (2014) Management tutorial: Pick the right management style | Available at: (Accessed: 15 June 2015)

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Tenth edn. UK: Pearson Education Limited

Susan, B. W. and Michae, S. (2008) ‘Goal setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals (2nd edition) by Susan B. Wilson and Michael S. Dobson’, Personnel Psychology, 61(4), pp. 931–933.


12 thoughts on “Most effective Leadership & Management Styles & approaches

    • I think both is important, but each has it’s own role to play. We need managers for all working forces to be disciplined, however we need leaders to inspire people to discipline thmeselves and increase the efficient.


  1. well, i have to say this article illustrates an intriguing viewpoint about the correlation of leadership and management. In my opinion, being a good leader is a key performance criteria to a successful manager which is a quite difference view with this paper. Could you just show more interaction effects between the leadership and efficient management and flag the positive influence.


  2. This essay successfully introduced both the leadership and management. More comparisons could be helpful for reader to get the point.


    • Thank you for reading my blog, I have word count limit to explain important points, there are a lot of differences between leadership and management, here I am just giving typical examples.


  3. You said you like “the democratic style” leadership. but there is no ideal leadership style in different situations. what are disadvantages about ‘the democratic style’ and how leaders can overcome and adjust?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for viewing, I think the disadvantages about democratic is that it could be time and man hour costing, and time is essential in some cases of the business world, but however it gives a good fundation in communicating with one’s followers.


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