Discover Your Leadership Style: The 7 Most Common Types

By Drew Moffitt

As a leader, there is a common misconception that managing a virtual team is easy. In reality, it can be more challenging without in-person interactions to help guide your choices as you navigate miscommunications, cultural differences, and a lack of teamwork. Ultimately, how you lead your team will play a pivotal role in addressing these unique challenges while striving to encourage a productive and positive remote-first work culture.

But you might wonder, “What is my leadership style, and how do I find it?”. Luckily, there are several styles to consider, each offering its unique benefits and downsides. To be an effective leader, you must understand how these leadership styles differ so you can adapt to each situation appropriately. In this article, we will discuss seven leadership styles and explore ways for you to identify the right one.

Why Is Choosing the Right Leadership Style Important?

The importance of using the correct leadership style cannot be overstated enough. Poor leadership decisions can directly affect a remote team’s ability to meet critical deadlines and goals. Employees rely on a leadership figure to keep the work atmosphere healthy and conducive to good business outcomes. Choosing the wrong leadership style can cause low morale, leading to poor performance from demotivated and unproductive employees. 

In fact, the importance of leadership styles is evident in the impact it has not just for your team, but for the company’s overall success. For example, a leader who takes a very hands-on approach may see increased productivity and efficiency, but at the cost of stifling creativity and motivation among their team. On the other hand, a leader who takes a more relaxed and laissez-faire approach may foster a more creative and dynamic work environment but at the risk of a lack of direction and structure. With the right leadership style, your team can thrive. 


Benefits of Identifying Your Leadership Style

Here are eight benefits of identifying your leadership style when managing a virtual or hybrid team:

  • Increased productivity: Effective leadership is essential for increasing productivity, and identifying your leadership style can help you get the most out of your team. Knowing what motivates and inspires them can help create an environment that fosters productivity, success, and goal-driven mindsets.

  • Better collaboration: A remote team requires effective collaboration to produce positive results, so identifying your leadership style can help you facilitate this process. Understanding what works for your virtual colleagues will ensure you use the proper techniques to encourage collaboration and teamwork.

  • Better understanding of team dynamics: The dynamics of a team describe how they interact on a professional and interpersonal level. As you become more familiar with the details of your members, you can create an environment tailored to their specific characters, helping foster meaningful and productive working relationships.

  • Increased flexibility: As a remote leader, you must be flexible to meet your team's changing needs and address unexpected hurdles. Identifying your leadership style will help you better understand your limitations, equipping you with the critical insight to adapt your leadership style as matters inevitably evolve.

  • Enhanced motivation: Remote teams need to feel motivated to work at their peak condition. Your leadership style can help you find the right techniques for motivating your team members. Knowing what inspires them will help you create a space and remote culture that fosters more engagement.

  • Improved decision-making: A good grasp of positive leadership techniques is essential for making sound decisions, and identifying your leadership style can help you make informed decisions. You should always think about making decisions that are in the best interest of your team and organization.


Seven Leadership Styles

Your leadership style is the manner in which you interact with and influence your team. While no style is perfect for every occurrence or group dynamic, sometimes it’s best to apply them interchangeably as needed. 

Here are the seven leadership styles most often used: 


An authoritarian leader micromanages their team, controls every aspect of the group, and makes all decisions. This style is referred to as top-down leadership because employees have no say in the decision-making process. 


  • Clear expectations

  • A strong sense of direction

  • Fast decision-making


  • A lack of creativity and innovation

  • Low employee morale

  • Toxic work culture


A participative leader involves their team in the decision-making process. This style is called democratic leadership because most aspects of the group are chosen through consensus. 


  • Increased collaboration

  • A sense of ownership 

  • More creative solutions to problems


  • Longer decision-making process

  • Possibility of groupthink


A delegative leader delegates tasks to their team members, giving individuals a great deal of independence. This style is called hands-off leadership because employees can work without being micromanaged.


  • Increased autonomy

  • Increase creativity

  • A more relaxed work environment 


  • A lack of direction 

  • Poor workflow standards

  • Possibility of team members feeling overwhelmed.



A laissez-faire leader takes a hands-off approach and allows their team members to make decisions on their own. This style is often compared to the delegative leadership style, but with employees having greater control over choosing and approaching their tasks.


  • Greater independence

  • Better job satisfaction


  • Employees may slack off

  • Goals are not well defined 


A strategic leader focuses on the long-term goals of their team and organization. This style is referred to as visionary leadership because leaders think more about the big picture of their team’s success rather than immediate short-lived gains.  


  • A clear sense of direction and purpose 

  • Goal driven

  • High productivity


  • A lack of attention to detail 

  • May overlook immediate issues


Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their team members. This style is called charismatic leadership because the individual leads by positive example and encourages others to do their best. 


  • Increased motivation and commitment among team members

  • Encourages long-term, beneficial change

  • Team members are very productive


  • May focus too much on the leader rather than the team

  • Team members may become too dependent on the leader


A transactional leader primarily focuses on completing tasks and achieving results. This style is referred to as managerial leadership because the managing figure may push camaraderie and team culture to the side while prioritizing high productivity.


  • Expectations and responsibilities are clear

  • Tasks are completed efficiently

  • Everyone’s equally held accountable


  • Workflow may be overwhelming

  • Team members might feel creatively stifled

  • Possibility of burnout


How to Identify Your Leadership Style

Here are four methods to help you determine your own leadership style:

Observe your leading and decision-making process

Take a step back and reflect on how you handle different situations and challenges that arise. How do you approach problem-solving, motivate your team, and communicate with others? These observations can provide valuable insight into your leadership style.

Ask for feedback from your colleagues

One of the best ways to get an honest assessment of your leadership style is to ask those you work with. Ask for feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This can help you better understand how others see you as a leader.

Take an online assessment or quiz

There are many online tools and assessments that can help you identify your leadership style. These quizzes can provide valuable insight and help you determine your leadership qualities.

Consider situations where each style is most impactful

Different leadership styles work better in different situations. For example, an authoritarian style may be effective in crises, while a participative style may be better for promoting a collaborative, team-driven project. Sometimes you need to change your leadership style based on the current circumstance.


Finding your leadership style has undeniable benefits for you and your team. Whether you lean more towards the strategic style or the authoritarian method, the best solution is adopting a new technique to address the immediate needs of your team. This versatility will make you a more capable leader who can think critically and solve problems promptly.

FAQs About Leadership Styles

What are the 7 most common leadership styles?

The seven types of leadership types most commonly used include:

  • Authoritarian

  • Participative

  • Delegative

  • Laissez-faire

  • Strategic

  • Transformational

  • Transactional

Why are leadership styles important?

Leadership styles are important because they improve your professional growth as a team leader and help you support a remote work culture that is positive, goal-driven, and productive.

How do I develop my own leadership style?

You can develop your own leadership style by testing out different methods and then combining elements from each to form a leadership style that fits your team’s needs.

Why is it important to know my leadership style?

Knowing your leadership style is essential because it is an intimate part of your personal development and sets a standard for how you should manage your team.

How many leadership styles exist?

While there are seven main leadership styles that most people are familiar with, other variations of these seven also exist to varying degrees.

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Drew Moffitt

Drew leads marketing at Kumospace. Prior to joining Kumospace, he spent his career founding and operating businesses. His work has been featured in over 50 publications. Outside of work, Drew is an avid skier and sailor. A wholehearted extrovert, he organizes VentureSails, a series of networking events for founders and tech investors.

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