What Kind of Leadership Style Is Most Effective?

Leaders of Evolution is committed to providing students with a curriculum of courses that increase their leadership skills and capabilities in sports and in their future careers. The variety of Future Skills of the Workforce courses provided and free toolkit of leadership guides and practices are designed for students and teachers to get the largest value of education from non-tradition e-learning sports development courses. We are focused on providing students with the opportunity to look inward, learn about different kinds of leadership styles and create purposeful goals on how they can become greater leaders. 

At Leaders of Evolution, we know that every student is different, and not all leaders lead with the same style nor tactics. Although we agree there are specific skills and characteristics that make efficient leaders, it’s helpful to look through the various kinds of leadership styles that students can choose to align themselves with, and which of those styles are known to create healthy athletic environments for students. 

What kinds of leadership styles are effective? 

We identified various kinds of leadership styles that are appropriate for different situations. These styles include authoritative, democratic, affiliative, coaching, coercive & pacesetting leadership. Utilizing a Leadership Framework, we have identified characteristics of leaders. At Leaders of Evolution, we believe that various kinds of leadership styles can be used for different situations and with different people. We looked at research that suggested which kinds of leadership styles worked better for young students in general. Before going into which style works best and how our leadership skills courses can aid in building that style for students, let’s take a deeper look at these styles. 

Leadership Styles

Authoritative Leadership Style

This leadership style is known as authoritarian leadership, as these leaders observe the situation and react based on their ideas, experiences and individual judgement. Authoritative leadership style is useful depending on the type of situation, as it can lead to quicker decisions in high-stress situations. This leadership style is helpful when “directive leadership is needed.”

Leaders of Evolution has leadership courses that work to develop student-athletes’ self-awareness and intuitiveness that leads to quicker-decision making, and self-trust in their own judgments. Still, at Leaders of Evolution, we recognize the need for other leadership style options that might work better for young athletes and can be developed with our guidance.  

Democratic Leadership Style

The Democratic leader as you might expect is about collaboration and being an effective listener, in the pursuit of hearing the teams voice and making decisions based on their thoughts. This kind of leadership requires seeking feedback from your colleagues or team members and then after synthesizing that information, deciding the best move.

Through our leadership skills courses, we encourage students to have open communication with their peers. However, be aware that in time-crunched situations, this leadership style can lead to untimely decision-making in stressful situations. The ability to be quick on your feet while still receiving input from your teammates is a difficult skill to execute efficiently, but definitely not impossible. We want to build future leaders that keep their peers and teammates in mind but also trust their judgment enough to make a decision quickly when necessary.

The Impact of the Democratic Leadership Style

Researchers found that students preferred a democratic leadership style that focused on training and instruction. This style increased student-motivation and decreased cognitive anxieties of students. Additionally, it increased their self-confidence, an important component to team-building. 

Affiliative Leadership Style

The Affiliative leader is all about the team, looking at ways to create a strong sense of cohesion and camaraderie in order to achieve goals as a collective. One potential weakness is the ability to provide clear direction on what performance should look like.

For example, if there is a riff on your team, the Affiliative leader will be best placed to help the team recover from discord. Their preference is to bring the team together, fix the ill-feelings and they have the skills to do this effectively.

Coaching Leadership Style

The Coaching leader sees the potential everywhere and will look at ways of ensuring every person they work with or lead can reach their potential by putting in place strategies that help them develop. Coaching leaders are all about long-term outcomes and the development of others. 

The Coaching leader would not expect quick, immediate results from their team members. They prefer to look at performance over a longer period of time and put in place an action plan to help their people improve. For example, the Coaching style is effective when you have new staff members who are eager to learn.

Coercive Leadership Style

When you think Coercive leadership just think about the ‘nasty boss.’ Someone always telling everybody else what to do, why to do it, how to do it and when to do it. They like to control everything and everyone and demand people do as they say.

This can work sometimes – but use this style only in emergencies. Coercive leadership is more effective at getting an immediate result. If used occasionally in critical times, this style can be effective. Do not overuse the Coercive leadership style to avoid disrupting your group’s unity.

Pacesetting Leadership Style

The Pacesetting leader is all about high standards and motivating everyone in the team to reach those standards. The Pacesetting leader can achieve great results but must have a competent and motivated team, otherwise, they may lose the trust of their team as their standards can’t be consistently met. Pacesetting should be used only when you know you have the team who can keep up.

If you have a team of highly skilled team members, you may use the Pacesetting leadership style to push the group to their full potential. However, this may be effective only for certain projects, not a leadership style to be used daily because it could lead to burnout.

Leadership Skills Courses

We’ve researched and updated our Future Skills of the Workforce courses consistently to match the needs of students and the Australian Curriculum. Our Future Skills of the Workforce – Igniting the Leaders of Tomorrow course takes instructors and students through the impactful leadership traits, examples of outstanding leaders, and the various leadership styles in sports that are effective. Leaders of Evolution encourages students to choose the right style and traits they want to develop further through meaningful purpose and effective goal-setting.

Why choose Leaders of Evolution?

Kinds of Leadership | Leaders of Evolution

Leaders of Evolution strives to create a proactive curriculum for students of all learning styles. We provide e-learning courses that will enhance the leadership skills and capacity of students while saving valuable time and resources for teachers and students themselves. We have aligned our coursework with the Australian Curriculum, specifically the Personal and Social Capability and the self-management, self-awareness, social management and social awareness elements. 

To learn more about how our Future Skills of the Workforce can help your students, click here to schedule a 15-minute call with Leaders of Evolution co-founder Jon Shepherd.

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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Isabella Grella

Excited to be exploring the intersection of emerging tech and professionalism for Leaders of Evolution. While a huge music and social-media junkie, Bella takes time to go offline and run, hike and travel with friends.


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