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Four Ideal Leadership Style that Company Must Have

To be a better manager and leader, we need to understand the difference between the two roles. In this article, you’ll learn the difference between leadership and management and when you should do each.

Four Ideal Leadership Style that Company Must Have

What you’ll learn:

  • The difference between leadership and management
  • The four main styles of team management and when it’s best to use each

Whether you are directly responsible for people, a subject matter expert in your field, or perhaps a senior who has a development focus for others, the same management and leadership principles apply.

So to begin, What is the difference between Management and Leadership?

The dividing line is generally around Task versus People. Leaders are more focused on the people side of the business creating vision and strategy for the company and its employees.

Management is more to do with the day-to-day tasks, getting things done. However, the question shouldn’t be around either-or, but more about both.

As a Manager, we need skills to manage resources to deliver a task, product or resource. Leadership is about fine-tuning the skills to create engagement, motivate others and persuade people to “buy in” to a vision or goal.

Some of the qualities to develop for good Leadership are:

  • Creating an open environment,
  • Evaluating people and encouraging a culture of feedback,
  • Directing people according to their needs and wants,
  • Being able to inspire & motivate others and acting in accordance with company values, operating principles, strategies & objectives.

As an effective Leader or Manager, you need to be aware of your preferred style of managing others. All of your team members are completely different in how they operate and therefore, we need to be able to adapt to them and their own styles in order to support them and communicate with them effectively.

So, make sure that your approach to your team is one of flexibility. Understand how each and every one of them needs to be dealt with in order to get the best out of them. There are four distinct styles.

These are:

  • Directing
  • Coaching
  • Supporting
  • And Delegating

What does each really mean and what behaviors would you be demonstrating?

In the Directing Style, the leader or manager provides specific instructions on how the task should be carried out. There is close supervision, and most decisions are made by the leader or manager. Descriptions for this style include:

  • Defining priorities
  • Teaching,
  • Showing and telling how
  • Planning
  • Checking and monitoring
  • Giving feedback

With a Coaching Leadership style, the leader explains end results, invites suggestions from the individual, asks lots of questions, enables the individual to think for themselves, praises progress, and identifies learning opportunities.

The Coaching Style includes:

  • Exploring or asking
  • Sharing
  • feedback
  • Explaining or clarifying
  • Encouraging
  • Praising
  • Questioning

With a Supportive Leadership style, the leader listens, encourages, and facilitates self-reliant decision-making and problem-solving. Descriptions for this style include:

  • Asking/Listening
  • Reassuring
  • Facilitating
  • Encouraging feedback
  • Collaborating
  • Appreciating

The final style is Delegating Leadership, where the leader empowers the individual to make decisions themselves, acting independently and providing the appropriate resources to get the job done. Descriptions for this style include:

  • Allowing/trusting
  • Affirming
  • Confirming
  • Acknowledging
  • Empowering
  • Challenging

A key question to ask is what approach do people need?

Whilst we may have preferences, a manager or leader’s style should always be based on the situation and the individual you are managing or leading.

For instance, a directing style may be more appropriate with an individual who is new and has the lower capability or less experience. As the individual’s experiences develop, skills and knowledge grow, a less directive style may be used, to further build capability and confidence through coaching and supporting behaviors.

A delegating leadership style, where you are giving more freedom to act is suggesting a lighter touch from you, after all by this stage an individual is probably experienced, capable and willing.

How well are you demonstrating the style that is most effective for them?

Remember, you manage things – you lead people. One without the other only leads to short-term success, you need to demonstrate both aspects to be truly effective.

Points to Note

Directing Style:

  • Defining Priorities
  • Showing & Telling How
  • Planning
  • Checking & Monitoring

Coaching Style:

  • Exploring Or Asking
  • Sharing Feedback
  • Explaining Or Clarifying
  • Praising


  • Asking/Listening
  • Reassuring
  • Facilitating
  • Collaborating


  • Allowing/Trusting
  • Affirming
  • Confirming
  • Empowering

Power Questions

  1. Talk me through your activity of analyzing your leadership tasks vs your management tasks.
  2. Where do you think you could be doing more leadership activities instead of management tasks?
  3. Describe to me your understanding of the Directing Leadership style and when you would use this. Give examples.
  4. Describe to me your understanding of the Coaching Leadership style and when you would use this. Give examples.
  5. Where and when else can you use coaching with your team? What is the difference between training and coaching?
  6. What are the benefits of using a coaching style with your team? Why is this technique so useful?
  7. Describe to me your understanding of the Supporting Leadership style and when you would use this. Give examples.
  8. Describe to me your understanding of the Delegating Leadership style and when you would use this.
  9. Give examples of things that you delegate out to your team. What else could you be delegating?
  10. What is the benefit of using a delegating leadership style? Why can this be motivational to the team?
  11. Which of the 4 leadership styles would you prefer not to have to do, and why is this?
  12. How do you know what leadership style to use on each of your team members? Give examples.

Action Planning

Action 1: Leadership or Management?

Write a list of your role, responsibilities, and daily/weekly tasks. From this list decide whether they are more leadership or management tasks. Analyze where you could be doing more leadership activities on a day-to-day basis with your team.

Action 2: Four styles of leadership

Using the list you have already made in Action 1, now assign each of these tasks under where you think they could fit into the 4 styles of leadership, Directing, Coaching, Supporting, and Delegating. Where could you be doing more delegating to make your role easier?

Action 3: Leading your team

Each of your team members will have different capabilities and lengths of service with the organization. Using the 4 Leadership styles, identify which team members would suit which of the 4 styles when dealing with them on a day-to-day basis. How can you do more coaching?

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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