Leadership Theories and Styles

Leadership is the ability to control the achievement of objectives by a group. Almost all companies in the world, regardless of the industrial scope, need good governance for them to succeed. Studies have proven that there is a significant relationship between excellent leadership training and financial output, specifically in business (Simplilearn, 2020). The difficulty lies in selecting the most suitable leadership principles to be implemented in different contexts to accomplish the company’s objectives (Uzohue, Yaya, & Akintayo, 2016). To achieve appropriate leadership structures, institutions need systems and models for effective management. Therefore, the theories are justifications of how and why specific individuals become leaders, focusing on the behaviors and traits they can embrace. On the other hand, governance styles relate to the practice of guiding and organizing a team or group of people’s actions towards a common objective (Simplilearn, 2020). This paper aims to explore the importance of various leadership theories and styles in different circumstances.

The Leadership Theory of Contingency or Situation

It examines the impact of conditions on the failure or success of a figurehead. A leader’s personality matters little as it opines that leadership styles can be adjusted according to a particular situation (Thompson, Camp, Trimble & Langford. 2020). According to Khan (2016), standard contingency theory models include Fiedler’s Contingency Theory, the Three Style model of Kurt Lewin, and Blanchard and Hersey’s situational leadership. It has numerous merits, one of them being the capability of a leader to be productive regardless of the situation’s context. Most of its critics state that there is inadequate information that goes into the nature of any case (Thompson et al., 2020). It also emphasizes the significance of a situation but does not reflect enough on the workers’ psychology or organization (Thompson et al., 2020). The theory is usually determined by a company’s internal factors, such as the number of employees and the type of products or services offered (Simplilearn, 2020). Thus, the external factors may include the reactions of customers and the range of the market.

The Great Man Leadership theory

It is a principle that believes that any excellent leader is usually born. According to Thompson et al. (2020), this theory states leaders are exceptional due to their unique attributes. It also suggests that their traits cannot be trained or taught, making their leadership skills outstanding. As such, it is evident that a person does not have to work hard to become a leader because they are usually predestined to lead (Khan, 2016). In history, some leaders who portrayed this theory’s image include Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and Queen Elizabeth. In the contemporary world, some people who rise to significant management levels tend to view their abilities and skills as inherent (Uzohue et al., 2016). However, masculinity seems to be dominant in this theory which then contradicts the psychological perception of excellent leaders.

Transformational Leadership

There are several leadership styles, the first one being transformational leadership. It is a form of governance that encourages, stimulates, and motivates employees to innovate and develop progress to enhance and influence a company’s future success (Simplilearn, 2020). The passion and energy that characterize such types of leaders is what enables them to inspire positive change in people working with them (Thompson et al., 2020). Therefore, they are usually portrayed as focused and concerned people who are always ready to help any team to succeed.

There are four main constituents that help define this style of leadership. First, it includes intellectual stimulation whereby a leader encourages creativity among their colleagues or workers by employing new techniques. The second is inspirational motivation which is critical in providing an individual with a clear vision to lead, channel, protect, and encourage peoples’ actions (Simplilearn, 2020). Transformational leaders can help subordinates experience the same passion and inspiration to achieve organizational objectives (Khan, 2016). The third component is individualized consideration, which entails providing support and motivation to individual followers or members (Uzohue et al., 2016). Leaders keep channels of communication open to ensure subordinates feel free to share their thoughts and ideas. In addition, they also provide an evident appreciation of each follower’s specific contributions. Idealized influence is the last component, whereby, as a role model, a leader serves through specific codes of conduct (Uzohue et al., 2016). Therefore, they try to conduct themselves in a way that will motivate the followers to emulate them.

Transactional leadership

This style entails the undertaking of managerial activities by following a particular structure and guidelines laid by a company or institution. According to Thompson et al.(2020), in this strategy, a leader does not strive to shape or improve the future but aims at remaining the same. It also involves a bargaining system, whereby punishments and rewards are implemented to motivate workers or employers for an institution’s success (Khan, 2016). Thus, specific goals and directions are usually formulated according to the employer’s demands and tips that match the triumph (Uzohue et al., 2016). An example of this leadership is exhibited by Bill Gates, who is the owner of a software company called Microsoft Corporation.

Various sectors of businesses, private, public, and non-profit organizations mostly differ when it comes to leadership structures. The private sector often has a realistic approach with regards to addressing the day-to-day business problems, which demands more creativity. It means that leaders are expected to be transformational and flexible to motivate their juniors (Simplilearn, 2020). Working in the private sector presents numerous challenges, especially the demands for effective leadership from the stakeholders. However, the public sector seems intricate because a leader may be forced to meet both the political and administrative goals (Uzohue et al., 2016). Therefore, the objectives are more complicated than in the private sector; hence, they need to be structured. A crucial aspect of the public sector is the need for regular consultation on important decisions. Therefore, it is an area that requires a transactional style of leadership to set specific goals and standards. Khan (2016) states that most non-profit organizations commonly lack competitiveness, profit rates, and administrative structures. Therefore, the suitable people who can help in fixing the unstructured operations are the transformational leaders.

In conclusion, leadership is a crucial aspect in determining an organization, business, or company’s outcomes. Thus, leadership should be viewed as a combination of behaviors, position, skills, responsibilities, and attitudes which allow individuals to inspire others and increase organizational productivity. As demonstrated in the paper, leaders are people who exhibit strong traits and abilities to succeed in their work. In choosing the management team, institutions must, first of all, know what goals they want to achieve and which particular leadership style is appropriate for the specific tasks.


Khan, Z. A. (2016). Leadership theories and styles: A literature review. Journal of Resources Development and Management, 16(0), 1.

Simplilearn. (2020). 7 Major leadership theories every manager should master. Web.

Thompson, J., Camp, J. R., Trimble, J. E., & Langford, S. (2020). Leadership styles. The Wiley encyclopedia of personality and individual differences: Clinical, applied, and cross-cultural research, 499–504.

Uzohue, C. E., Yaya, J. A., & Akintayo, O. A. (2016). A review of leadership theories, principles, styles and their relevance to management of health science libraries in Nigeria. Journal of Educational Leadership and Policy, 1(1), 17–26.

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