Most Effective Leadership & Management Styles & Approaches

Leadership vs Management

The words, leader and manager do not differ from one another when it comes to explaining their responsibility. As a leader or a manager in person, both must ensure that their followers or their subordinates are doing their job in a correct manner and not following the wrong path way in handling their given tasks. That person should also ensure that their followers are working towards the vision and mission of the organization. However, other than responsibilities, the words leader and manager are very different. Refer to the table below to understand the differences between leadership and management;



According to Laurie J. Mullins, leadership is defined as a “relationship through which one person influences the behavior or actions of other people” (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Management is defined as a working role in an organization where people work to achieve the vision and mission of the organization (Mullins and Christy 2013).


Step in placing an authority over another person into understanding and accept on what is needed to be done and how to execute the given tasks (Yukl 2013)

An act of computing the quantity regularly, regulating the proposed initial plans and conducting actions to achieve the intended objective (Ukko, Pekkola and Rantanen 2009).

Leaders’ uses speech and word to word conversation to inspire, assist, and support changes in people’s attitude in changing their behaviors (Kent 2005).

Management is known as the process of completing the tasks effectively by working together or through someone that leads to the achieving goals by completing daily objectives (Haslam 2004).

Leadership Styles

As a leader, it is important that leaders possess effective ways to manage the work of their subordinates in achieving targets and goals of the organization. Followers must possess the “readiness” to be influenced by the leader is known as situational leadership. A model introduced by Hersey and Blanchard in 1997 where the right leadership style is based on the combination of two behavior known as Task Behavior and Relationship Behavior which is elaborated below;

Task behavior

An area where the leader supplies a pathway or route for their subordinates, setting goals for them to get a clear insight of their responsibility and how to execute the given tasks (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Relationship Behavior

An area where the leader communicate with their subordinate or followers in a two way communication, hear them out, and assist by giving supports and encouragements (Mullins and Christy 2013).

These two behaviors interrelate and derive four leadership styles as shown in the image below;


Figure 1: Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership. Source:  (Moreno 2014)

The model shown above explains a curve that proceed through four leadership styles namely from S1 to S4 where leaders show and guide their followers through series of situation and develop them into a member of the organization to achieve goals by completing the objectives given. The stages of leadership style are explained further below;

Leadership Style  
Telling (S1)

Task of leader: High

Relationship with followers: Low

This stage is where the leader provides specific instructions on how things should be done to achieve the targeted goal by monitoring their followers and supervising their performances.

Selling (S2)

Task of leader: High

Relationship with followers: High

 Opportunities were given to followers to gain relevant experiences. From this, leaders will provide feedback to their followers made to ensure their pathway are vision and mission oriented.

Participating (S3)

Task of leader: Low

Relationship with followers: High

Leaders participate by sharing ideas and providing decision through a verbal communication. Leaders will stay out of action and provide more opportunity to their followers.

Delegating (S4)

Task of leader: Low

Relationship with followers: Low

Followers at this stage are highly experienced where the leader provides a given task to their followers with minimal direction and support.

From the elaboration above, it is highly recommended that leaders should partake in all of the leadership styles starting from S1 to S4 to guide new followers and nurture them into becoming one of a better employee that the organization need to achieve the targeted goal.

Can your leader abide to the style?

Making a statement that state that all leaders should have the four leadership styles is not an easy task. As pointed out by CMI (2013) that “there is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics” which is highly agreeable because different people had different personalities thus leading them to have different ways of leading or managing their followers in the real working industries.

According to a survey done by The Ken Blanchard Companies, it is not easy for leaders to comply all four stages of leadership styles. As shown in the pie – chart below, only one percent of managers or leaders are able to apply all four leadership styles which is a rare sight. Majority of the managers are capable of applying only one leadership style which can be proved from the 54% statistical review (Witt 2012).


Figure 2: The ability to flex Leadership Style (Witt 2012)

Examples of Leaders

Political leader

Example of a leader that many current leaders should learn from would be former late United States president, Dwight Eisenhower. As president, Eisenhower famously known for his good diplomatic relationship with other countries’ leaders by uniting and later defeated the Nazi armies. His leadership in military practices helps many potential armies to develop into better fighters. His gift in showering confidences and provide tactics to his followers to defeat their enemies is something many leaders do not possess. His leadership capabilities provided him two terms in the presidential position (The New York Times 2010).

Entrepreneur leader

Another example would be a Chinese entrepreneur, Jack Ma is known for his good leadership in developing Alibaba as one of the top e-commerce company in the world. His leadership by surrounding himself with the smartest and highly capable and innovative employees to work together with one vision that is to bring Alibaba a success it is today (McGregor 2014). From the very beginning, Ma constantly had many setbacks, such as failures in obtaining agreements and landing a permanent job. But that does not stop him in achieving the success he had today. His attitude of not giving up and high perseverance to achieve his goals is what many leaders should adhere today (McGregor 2014).

How Would Followers like to be led?

            Leaders are important but a leader without any followers is just someone taking a walk alone (Kristen 2015). Followers often want to be led by leaders that are able to set visions, strategize and build main priorities in the tasks they are dealing with. A leader should also have the capabilities to build relationship with their followers and influence them to make things possible for their followers to achieve.

            Besides these commitments from a leader, followers often wanted mutual trust, hope, compassion and stability among the leader and their followers. These are four main attributes that many preferred from leaders based on a recent survey on more than 10,000 participants (Rath and Conchie 2009).

[801 words]


Haslam, S. (2004) Psychology in Organizations. London: Sage Publications

Kent, T. (2005) “Leading and Managing: It Takes Two to Tango”. Management Decision [online] 43 (7/8), 1010-1017. Available from <; [16 October 2016]

Kristen, J. (2015) Leaders Excellence at Harvard Square [online] available from <; [18 October 2016]

McGregor, J. (2014) Five Things To Know About Alibaba’S Leadership [online] available from <; [20 October 2016]

Moreno, I. (2014) Leadership Theories I: Situational Leadership [online] available from <; [17 October 2016]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behavior. 10th edn. Harlow: Pearson

Rath, T. and Conchie, B. (2009) What Followers Want From Leaders [online] available from <; [18 October 2016]

The New York Times, (2010) Dwight David Eisenhower: A Leader In War And Peace [online] available from <; [17 October 2016]

Ukko, J., Pekkola, S. and Rantanen, H. (2009) “A Framework To Support Performance Measurement At The Operative Level Of An Organisation”. International Journal of Business Performance Management 11 (4), 313

Witt, D. (2012) Three Times When It’s Wrong to Just Be a Supportive Manager [online] available from <; [16 October 2016]

Yukl, G. (2013) Leadership in Organization. 8th edn. New York: Pearson




13 thoughts on “Most Effective Leadership & Management Styles & Approaches

  1. A very interesting blog.It has given me good insight on your chosen leadership style which is Situational leadership. Perhaps you could further elaborate on how Dwight Eisenhower is related to situational leadership as i don’t see the relation to it from what you have written. Overall good effort. Keep it up!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, a much concise explanation would be the late Dwight Eisenhower uniting this armies by slowly nurturing every soldier he had to fight for their beloved country. “His leadership in military practices helped many potential armies to develop into better fighters” as mentioned in the blog allowing him to later defeat the Nazi armies.

      I choose Dwight Eisenhower is because of his showering confidences he poured to his armies and his followers is something like how a situational leader is by guiding them from stage S1 to S4.


  2. It is very informative on how a situational leadership style can be further categorised into four. Your chart showing majority of the leaders are able to use only one style shows the rigidity on the work force. It is my believe that organisations should emphasise on leadership roles for a sustainable future and of course effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The difference between management and leadership is explained clearly in the form of table and it makes the structure of your blog looks more interesting with a lot of visuals. I can see that you have put in a lot of effort by providing a political leader and an entrepreneur leader in order to give a more clear idea about the situational leadership style that you have chosen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You stated the difference of leader and manager very clearly which make reader has a more simple understanding. Theory on Hersey and Blanchard theory very detail explanation given with excellent examples on entrepreneur and political leader. Great work! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really, it is not easy for a leader to comply with four leadership styles. Good writing and well structured! Although I didn’t know what is the situational leader before, I always wanted to become that kind of leaders.
    Do you think situational leadership is just limited to four styles?


    1. Glad that my explanation and writings help you to developed an understanding on what Situational Leadership is about. I too hope you can develop your situational leadership methods soon!

      Referring to your question, yes I believe there is more than it meets the eye. The four styles are just theories and can be further improved with new styles. That is what I believe.


  6. Well organized blog which the thoughts flow well for any readers to comprehend. Extensive research on differences between management and leadership as well as situational leadership style which you prefer. I always enjoyed reading your blog as it is clear and direct to the point. Keep up the good work!


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