There is no one right way of leading. There are many different leadership styles and the right one for you will depend on your personality, the kind of organizational culture you want to create, the nature of your business and the kind of results you want to generate.

In this climate, leadership experts that claim they have the answer and that if you are an authoritarian leader or a delegative leader or collaborative leader or whatever style of leadership is the flavor of the month, then you will achieve success, have got things backwards.

The reality is that the way forward for companies that want to survive the next decade and still be around to make their dent in the universe is to be agile and know the different styles that are appropriate for different situations to get specific results.

Some examples of different styles:

1 – The Caregiver. This style of leadership is embodied when it is necessary or important to take care of others. The Caregiver is moved by compassion and a genuine desire to help others through generosity or dedicated assistance. Leaders, managers and practitioners in the medical field are good examples of this leadership style. Their empathy, listening skills, and ability to facilitate patient’s physical, social, and emotional needs are paramount to their success.

2 – The Commander. Useful in situation where people need to move fast and follow orders because lives are at stake. The military is a clear example of when this kind of leadership style would be deemed important. In this situation, its not the time to sit in a circle and collaborate over what strategy works best. Time is of the essence and safety is often a top priority for the leader or manager that embodies the energy of commander. There is often a clear line of command and deep trust in the person of authority, the leader, to give their team members clear directions or orders and a commander must be able to provide clear direction in which there is little room for interpretation.

3 – The Coach. This kind of leadership involves a belief that the followers can do their work, but the leader makes himself available to assist when needed. A coach-leader allow his team complete authority and freedom of action yet is actively encouraging and inspiring them to be, do, and become more. Vince Lombardi is my favorite example of a leader that took on the role of the coach-leader exceptionally well.

So these are just a few. There are many more.

Whatever the right style for you, approach leadership with a flexible mind and take the time to expand the different ways you are capable of leading so that you don’t approach leadership from a one-size-fits-all perspective.

Remember this:

Flexibility Creates Freedom

Let your leadership style free you instead of limit you.

P.S. Perhaps your organization has a large group of newly appointed managers you want to ensure are leadership-ready. If I can help your leadership team expand their skillset, get in touch.

Originally published at


  • Leena Patel

    Chief Innovation Officer

    Leena Patel is the founder of, author of Raise Your Innovation IQ, and a leading expert on helping executive teams worldwide drive innovation and develop a culture of collaboration and inclusion. She draws from two decades experience as a woman-owned business owner to design and execute on innovation initiatives that capitalize on new business opportunities and secure a strategic market position. Leena and her team have worked with leading corporations in 16+ industries, advised CEOs and Senior Executives worldwide, delivered over 1000 seminars, and have been featured by leading media like NBC, Bloomberg, Fox News, ESPN, and many more. Learn more at