4 Emerging Leadership Styles to Be on the Lookout For

Leadership is about influencing people and moving people to action towards the path to success.

Good leadership is showing people how to do monumental work. Leadership is usually responsible for how great, or poorly businesses perform, and for many years we knew it all.


We understood everything about leadership. But leadership is not just going to remain the same. It is bound to grow with us.

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You are already used to the traditional or much-known leadership styles such as the autocratic or authoritative style, democratic style, coaching style and other styles that are easy to compartmentalize.

Leaders usually see themselves as being one or a combination of two styles. The advantages and disadvantages of these styles were easy to define and didn’t require much. But now leadership is different, and new styles are emerging.

Several emerging leadership styles are fresh and embody today’s complex and multi-layered relationships and work culture.

1. Responsible Leadership

Responsible leadership is the conscious awareness and consideration of the consequences of one’s actions for all stakeholders. It is also about leveraging one’s influence by enabling the involvement of the affected teams and engaging in active stakeholder dialogue. Responsible leaders earnestly strive to carefully weigh and balance the interests of the forwarded claims.’

Responsible leadership is emerging naturally as a major theme in academic and practical management conversations.

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Responsive and Responsible Leadership requires recognizing that frustration and considerable discontent in the team do not mean your team has become ungrateful or lazy. It acknowledges that your team members may be discontent, and you have to find out the reason to come to an understanding.

Responsible and responsible leadership required a firm commitment to collaborative development and unbiased growth within your organization. It also involves working rapidly to close generational divides by exercising shared stewardship of those systems critical to our prosperity.

Responsible and responsive leaders stay committed to a team. They reward effort, not results, and do not lack courage, curiosity and intelligence.

2. Authentic Leadership

Many times employees come out of meeting not believing a word uttered by management. They associate responsible leadership with untruths because of past interactions. You hear people say, “I merely went for the meeting because my supervisor insisted, no need attending, they will never tell you what’s going on.”

This happens when a leader is inauthentic. Authenticity is a lot more than being open. It requires an awareness of yourself and your values.

Authentic leaders are genuine to themselves, open with others and honest in their dealings.

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The fundamental value of being authentic in what we do and say, so it’s no surprise to find a prime focus on authenticity within leadership.

They are as guided by qualities of the heart, by passion and genuine compassion, as they are by qualities of the mind. Authentic leaders show these qualities: leading with their heart, have discipline and an enviable value system.

It is easy to define authentic leadership, but how do you show it? How do you live it? Eleanor Roosevelt is a shining model of an authentic leader.

She was the former First Lady and wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. We see her as a stronger leader, just as her husband was. She correctly was an outspoken woman, which was a rarity.

Throughout her life, she showed her followers she was true to her beliefs and ideologies. She enthusiastically supported her husband’s political ambition and paved the way for future First Ladies to be more than their husband’s arm candy.

3. Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a leadership theory where a charismatic leader works with teams to identify needed change, developing a vision to guide the change through inspiration and executing the change with members of the group.

Transformational leadership is when leader behaviours influence followers and inspire them to perform beyond their perceived capabilities.

Transformational leadership naturally inspires people to achieve unexpected or remarkable results. It typically gives workers autonomy over specific jobs and the proper authority to decide once they train them.

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This induces a progressive change in the followers’ attitudes and the organization.

Transformational leaders exhibit behaviours known as the 4 I’s:

  • Inspirational motivation
  • Idealized influence
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Individualized consideration

Transformational leadership intentionally serves to positively enhance the motivation, morale, and job performance of followers through a considerable variety of complex mechanisms; these invariably include connecting the followers’ sense of self with the identity of the organization.

Transformational leaders are a role model for followers to inspire them and their interest in the specific project. They challenge followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, which allows the leader to naturally align followers with tasks that enhance their performance.

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It is equally important to recognize the unique qualities transformational leadership can assuredly bring to a work organization. Transformational leaders are influential in adapting to unusual situations, sharing a collective consciousness, self-manage, and being inspirational while managing a group of employees.

In the latter half of the 20th century, leadership theories focused on situational and contingency leadership, which propose that leadership styles or the independent leader must adapt his style to the workers’ specific situation or traits.

For example, an aggressive totalitarian leader is an excellent choice for unskilled workers, while a democratic style works best with creative and highly skilled workers.

4. Self-Management

Another emerging leadership style that we undoubtedly have to mention prominently is self-management. A self-management is a system for managing a company where there are no assigned roles and employees characterized by the flexibility to bear on various tasks and move between local teams freely.

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The organizational structure of a self-management organization is relatively flat, with there being little hierarchy.

Self-management means knowing exactly what you are responsible for and having the creative freedom to meet those expectations however you think is best.

There is also an aspect of self-organization, which means being able to cause changes to improve things – beyond what is required of a specific individual. Self-management is radically different from how well-established companies are run.

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There may be some resistance from employees, or perhaps even some resignations; however, self-management dwells on the strong feelings of those employees that are engaged and present.

Medium, an online publishing platform, is another organization that also used this style but let go of it and has gone back to the traditional hierarchical structures.

Self-management is still in its early stages, and not everyone appreciates this style due to not as sufficient focus on team building and letting the teams with the pre-defined membership fuse together.
It is also harder to transition into it, especially for larger organizations.


What all these leadership styles all have in common is they all seek to find fresh ways to lead people efficiently.

The leaders that will survive regardless of their style remain the ones that adapt to their unique situation.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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