Why does leadership style matter? Or does it?

Guest Author: Christopher S. Nickin, Graduate Student, Madonna University

Does leadership style matter? To answer this question, you have to think like a follower. You may be a leader in your organization, or amongst your peers, but in some aspect of everyone’s life they are a follower. As a follower, do you have a certain way you want your leader to address you, communicate to you, guide you, or are you okay with them leading in any manner they see fit? In most cases I will assume that people want their leaders to act in a certain manner and treat them in a way that is conducive to their well-being.

The answer is yes, leadership style does matter. You may get lucky; You may be able to use the same method for the majority of situations in your organization or life, but eventually a situation will arise where you may have to change your methods in order to reach an individual or complete a project on time with your team. Timothy Thomas, and executive coach, wrote “Many people go through life with an attitude that says, this is the way I am – take it or leave it. As a leader, you don’t have that option. When confronted with diverse situations in the work environment, you will often need to respond with very different leadership styles”.

Leadership style matters because the world needs great leaders to take charge. But what makes a leader great? What makes them great is the ability to take command and the wherewithal to know when to adjust their efforts to best suit a circumstance. Should the leader rely on others around them, or should they make an executive decision? Does the problem require their direct intervention, or will their followers be able to handle it on their own? When they should push and when to back off. These are some the things that great leaders must be able to understand and then execute to make their leadership great.

People generally want to follow, but they will only follow someone who they believe can and will do the right thing and will adjust to any circumstance that arises. A leader must choose their styles based on two things, the presented situation and the followers that have chosen to follow them.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Coeus Creative Group. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Coeus Creative Group.