Leadership Approaches

Sections of this topic

    Introduction to Leadership Approaches

    In a recent blog entry an overview was provided of some of the more common leadership theories. It resulted in a lively discussion about the role that these concepts should play for people that are in positions of leadership, or for individuals that work with leaders as consultants, coaches, human resource partners, and so on. My plan is to revisit these theories in more depth at some point in the future. For now I would like to spend some time examining a number of approaches to leadership (aka leadership models). These approaches, while no doubt grounded in one or more theories of leadership, can be distinguished from theories in that they attempt to place the concepts into more applied frameworks. That is, they attempt to describe leadership theories in a way that is meant to facilitate the application of the ideas.

    The Seven Approaches to Leadership

    I am planning to spend some time reviewing and critiquing the following seven leadership approaches/models:

    • Transformational
    • Charismatic
    • Authentic
    • Servant
    • Dynamical
    • Adaptive
    • Strategic

    This list is not exhaustive of the different frameworks that could be considered legitimate leadership approaches or models. Some of these approaches (e.g. transformational leadership) are typically considered full-fledged leadership theories in their own right. And some of the frameworks (e.g. strategic leadership) might be viewed more as a specific leadership competency or leadership role rather than a framework. I happen to think that these seven are some of the legitimate contenders for categorization as distinct approaches to leadership.

    Other Approaches?

    Do you agree with this list? I want to encourage readers, as we examine each one, to chime in whether you think the different approaches have real value. Also, please feel free to advocate for other models that you think warrant consideration as a proven and valuable approach to leadership.