The Hero leader

Style: Trait-based leadership

  • Impact is made by the individual leader alone.
  • The personal characteristics and behavior of the leader make the difference rather than the context in which the leader operates.
  • One can become a great leader by emulating the personal characteristics and behavior of great leaders.


  • The mindless application of heroic traits may lead to inauthentic behavior, which undermines trust.
  • Top-down.
  • Assumption that “one size fits all.”

The Chameleon leader

Style: Situational leadership

  • Leadership is situation-specific and adapts as the world and people change.
  • Leaders adopt different styles based on the maturity of the people they are leading.
  • Can be developed by enabling individuals to understand the context and to adapt their behavior accordingly.


  • Difficult to determine the correct behavior in a given context.
  • Losing oneself in the context and lacking authenticity.
  • Merely externally oriented, without a strong internal sense of purpose.

The Transformational leader

Style: Transformational leadership

  • The role of the leader is to be a role model, to create a shared vision, and to build a team’s trust and capacity to work together.
  • Leaders create an environment in which individuals transcend their individual goals to achieve the higher mission of the organization.
  • Leaders create desirable outcomes in organizations and have to be able to transform the context rather than simply react to it.


  • Not all leaders have visionary personalities, and these may be hard to develop.
  • All attention goes to the visionary leader instead of the issues that s/he is trying to address
  • High risk as the reputation of the organization is determined largely by the visionary leader.
  • Dependence of the organization on the visionary leader, potentially a lack of empowerment of leaders at lower levels within the organization.

The Servant leader

Style: Servant leadership

  • Role of leadership is one of service, not just to customers but to employees as well.
  • Primary focus is on people and not the organization.
  • People are treated fairly and humanely and supported in their personal growth.
  • Leaders can be trusted to serve the needs of the many rather than the few.
  • Teamwork, community, values, service, and caring behavior are important principles.
  • The ideal is self-giving without self-glory.
  • Leaders enhance dialogue and understand social dynamics.


  • Focus is on the quality of relationships instead of delivering results.