The 3 Essential Leadership Styles-which one are you?

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Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one correct leadership style. The best leaders are those who are able to adapt their style to the situation at hand. That said, there are three essential leadership styles that every leader should be aware of. Read on to learn more about these three styles and how you can use them to your advantage.

Task-Oriented Leadership

two wooden figures trying to complete a puzzle

The first essential leadership style is what’s known as “task-oriented.” These leaders focus on results and performance. They’re goal-driven and constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and productivity. They create detailed plans with schedules for each step, which is important in an environment where deadlines are constantly looming over them.


  • Reach more goals
  • Meet deadlines
  • Clear employee expectations
  • Find better systems


  • Potential for low employee morale
  • High pressure for employees
  • Lack of team bonding
  • More burnout

Do you find yourself always looking for ways to optimize processes and get the most out of your team? If so, you’re likely a task-oriented leader.

Relationship-Oriented Leadership

two wooden figures high-fiving after a job finished

The second essential leadership style is “relationship-oriented.” These leaders focus on building strong relationships with their team members. They believe that happy, engaged employees are key to a successful organization.


  • Supports great teamwork and collaboration
  • Develops good communication
  • Creates positive relationships
  • Finds better systems
  • Engaged employees
  • Reduces turnover costs


  • Emphasis on people could draw attention from the tasks at hand
  • Slower decision making
  • Cause employee resentment if decisions are taken from the employees

Do you find yourself spending more time getting to know your team members and working to build a positive culture? Then you’re likely a relationship-oriented leader.

Transformational Leadership

two wooden figures adapting to the problems at hand

Thirdly, the final essential leadership style is “transformational.” Leaders who take this approach focus on inspiring change in their organizations. They’re visionaries who are always looking for ways to innovate and improve. Transformational leaders practice self-awareness, are open-minded, proactive, adaptable, and lead with humility.  


  • United in a common cause
  • Reduces turnover costs
  • Better bottom-line results
  • Promotes change
  • Increases morale


  • Too conceptual
  • Risky and Disruptive
  • Employee burnout
  • Requires frequent feedback

Do you find yourself always thinking about the future and how you can make your organization better? Then you’re likely a transformational leader.

Leadership is an art that can be developed with practice. By understanding and utilizing the three styles we mentioned, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an effective leader in any organization.  Please comment on what leadership style you are.

Check out our article 10 Things A Great Leader Never Does