Maybe you’ve heard someone described as “a natural leader” before — but that doesn’t mean that all great leaders are born and not made. Leaders are often highly intentional when it comes to their leadership style, rather than it being something that just came naturally.
There are many effective styles of leadership. Knowing about different leadership styles can improve your own leadership skills. Each style comes with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Some leadership styles are appropriate in certain circumstances, but not in others. Managing natural disaster relief and managing a school bake sale require different leadership approaches.
Sometimes leaders use different styles when interacting with different employees. While one person may work very well without frequent check-ins, others may not.
By learning about leadership styles you’re expanding your toolbox. Just like everyone else, a leader benefits from ongoing growth.
This brief questionnaire is designed for anyone who wonders what their leadership style is. This quiz is meant to help you answer questions like:
- What are the seven types of leadership?
- What leadership style do I exhibit?
- Am I a leader?
This leadership style quiz is not meant to definitively tell you your strengths and weaknesses as a leader. This quiz is designed to help you understand your most dominant leadership style. This test may also introduce you to other leadership styles, all of which have strengths and weaknesses that can help you become an effective leader.
Your response will show you your most dominant leadership style, but that doesn’t mean you don’t incorporate ideas from other styles as well. Most people adopt a unique combination of two or more leadership styles.
What are the 4 basic leadership styles?
- Autocratic: The autocratic leadership style is characterized by a leader who considers themselves the “top dog” when it comes to decision-making. An autocratic leader takes full authority and gives orders to their subordinates without consulting them first. The central power figure does all or most of the delegation, and expectations are clear. An autocratic leader uses a system of reprimands, criticisms, and punishment. Employees work to avoid punishment rather than to gain rewards.
- Laissez-faire: In French, laissez-faire loosely translates to “let them do.” A laissez-faire leadership style means a leader doesn’t interfere with their team at every step of the process. They give minimal direction and allow the group to solve their own problems. A laissez-faire leader believes that each team member will naturally make their best effort without someone looking over their shoulder. A laissez-faire leader makes a great effort to put the right person on the right task. This is also known as a delegative leader.
- Democratic: Sometimes called “participative leaders,” democratic leaders decentralize authority. Rather than establish a strict decision making hierarchy, a democratic leader consults their subordinates and requests their subordinates’ participation when it comes to decision making. Democratic leaders lead by example and persuasion, not by force. A democratic leader will often adopt a moderating role while their teams create strategic plans or visions.
- Transformational: Transformational leaders focus on the collaboration that can bring a vision to fruition. They motivate employees in ways that differ from exchanges, penalties, and rewards. Transformational leaders aim to inspire employees to work toward a shared vision. Transformational leaders remain open-minded, are willing to change their management style as needed, and accommodate their employees’ individual needs and motivations.
How do I choose my leadership style?
Leadership styles are often a mixture of constant core personality traits and a more changeable group of practices which will be the focus of this quiz.
Sometimes leaders use different styles based on circumstances and people. Individuals respond to the leadership styles differently, so if one employee isn’t doing so well with a laissez-faire approach, their manager might schedule more frequent check-ins.
What are the 7 most common leadership styles?
In addition to autocratic, laissez-faire, democratic, and transformational leadership styles, there are three slightly lesser-known styles:
- Pacesetting: This leader leads by example and sets a fast pace toward the end goal.
- Coaching: A coaching leader takes the time and effort to develop each team member’s abilities.
- Affiliative: This people-first leadership style values harmony within teams. The leader may be personally involved in conflict resolution among team members.
This quiz deals with the four basic styles rather than the extended list.
What are the 6 Goleman leadership styles?
Daniel Goleman, author of Leadership: the Power of Emotional Intelligence created his own list of leadership styles:
- authoritative (visionary)