Leadership Style Begets Leadership Style

Every leader has a sense there is a need for effective leadership to exist among those he leads. The challenge is, the term ‘effective’ can have a wide range of meanings depending on the perspective of the leader determining it. For instance, one leader may determine an effective leader is one who accomplishes the assigned tasks with efficiency; or it could mean an effective leader is one who rallies a group of people with energy and excitement; or, even still, an effective leader could be considered an individual who successfully holds a title and an office until retirement. Just as ‘effective’ can be subjective to the leader determining its meaning, the quality of a leader can be subjective to the chosen leadership style of the one who developed that leader.

The leadership that develops under a given leader is strongly determined by the leaders chosen style of leadership; in other words, a leader reproduces in his followers the chosen leadership style he operates primarily. A servant leader will develop servant leader with the same natural feeling to serve and make other people needs the highest priority. (Northouse, 2013, p. 220) At the same time, a transactional leader will produce a leader who is focused on the give and take of the leader-follower relationship, and approach followers with a self-serving attitude. (Northouse, 2013, p. 186) This same principle can be applied to every other style of leadership, not as a rule necessarily, but as a common phenomenon in mentoring.

The leadership style chosen by a given leader is the template every follower uses to understand leadership. As those leaders develop their leadership skills it will be with the modeled template. The effectiveness of a leader is closely tied with the style of leadership that develops this given template.


Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.


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