A quick search of the internet leadership styles shows that there are many styles of leadership and ways to categorize, study and write about these various styles. However, perusing a number of these articles, I found that the themes among them are common. One that stands out as a credible and thought provoking is “Which of These 4 Leadership Styles Are You?” in Fortune magazine by Mark Murphy.
The article refers to a brief survey you can take to determine your predominant style from among his list of four fundamental leadership styles: pragmatist, idealist, steward and diplomat.
Following are summaries of each of these leadership styles.
Pragmatists have high standards and corresponding high expectations for themselves and their employees. Pragmatists value hitting their goals above all else and, as a result, often fall short on employee engagement and some of the more desirable characteristics inherent to the other three leadership styles.
Idealists are high-energy achievers who believe in the positive potential of themselves and their employees to learn, grow and above all, be open-minded and creative. As with pragmatists, they often fall short on process, structure and some of the more desirable characteristics inherent to the other three leadership styles.
Stewards are especially dependable, loyal and helpful, and tend to be a stabilizing influence as they value rules, process and cooperation. While they are strong at taking care and time to help those who struggle to keep up, they often fall short on providing chances for individual achievement and some of the more desirable characteristics inherent to the other three leadership styles.
Diplomats strive for interpersonal harmony and thus are the social glue that connects people. While they are kind, social, giving and provide a deep feeling of belonging to employees, they often fall short on resolving or avoiding conflicts and some of the more desirable characteristics inherent to the other three leadership styles
What’s Your Style?
The diplomat leadership style is the most common, accounting for over half of American leaders, while pragmatists are the least common at about 10 percent. The remainder is about evenly divided between idealists and stewards. However, pragmatists tend to be more prevalent among top-level executives, while diplomats abound among managers, directors and vice presidents.
What is your leadership style? Educate yourself on where you fit into the continuum and see what you can learn and adapt from your less preferred styles.
This post is part of the series: Countdown to Leadership
- Four Styles of Leadership
- Three Essentials for Proactive Leaders
- Two Simple Actions to Become a Leader
- The One Essential for Genuine Leadership