Each of us has a natural leadership style that draws on our personality, strengths, and communication style. It’s definitely worthwhile to know what your leadership style is—to help maximize your effectiveness and up-level your efforts in both your work and personal life. 

You can identify your leadership style with the Atlassian Find Your Leadership Style Quiz. Once you’ve got your leadership profile in hand, the next step is to cultivate your leadership capabilities by learning more about other styles of leadership. These descriptions are available within the quiz and can help you become a more effective leader by cultivating other styles and better understanding your coworkers’ styles of leadership. 


These are the eight identified leadership styles. Below these, we highlight the four most common styles: Democratic, Coaching, Visionary, and Servant—so you can begin to understand the motivations for the most common styles around you. 

Democratic 

Democratic leaders invite their teams to share ideas and reach a consensus so that everyone is involved and committed to the decision. This inclusive and collaborative approach increases commitment to the course and develops comradery across the team. Relying on your team encourages contributors to leverage their knowledge and insight to help you uncover a variety of possibilities. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones embodied this leadership style (ONLY in the first five seasons) by listening to her advisors and inspiring devotion and commitment from her followers. 

Here are some tips and resources for cultivating this leadership style: 

Coaching 

Coaching leaders foster their team’s potential by mentoring teammates. They build trust and make their team feel valued and supported. This approach inevitably leaves their team stronger in their professional capabilities and often encourages exceptional outcomes. Though this leadership style is a time-consuming investment for the leader and can be difficult to scale quickly, it promotes the cultivation of skills that offers a long-term return on investment. Mahatma Gandhi encouraged inner reflection and optimization of colleagues’ potential. 

Here are some tips and resources for cultivating this leadership style: 

  • Conduct individual assessments, then share results as a team to gain insight into each team member’s style and strengths 
  • Encourage team members to take a proactive role in their own career development 
  • Provide valuable career path development articles 

Visionary 

Visionary leaders inspire trust and enthusiasm in their team as they work toward a mutual goal. These leaders empower others to own their work and get involved in the mission of the project or goal. A Visionary gives their team autonomy and encourages out-of-the-box thinking. A personality that fits this style is Elon Musk, who influences those around him to seek out new ideas and possibilities and not be limited by the here and now. 

Here are some tips and resources for cultivating this leadership style: 

  • Practice ways to creatively empower your team
  • Be sure to occasionally slow down and take stock (a break from ideas) to address important fundamentals like team morale, technical proficiencies, backlogged work 
  • Consider adopting the team Health Monitor technique, to encourage input, transparency, and team optimum team productivity 

Servant 

The Servant leader’s goal is to have their team say, “we did it ourselves.” They are empathetic and strong listeners and put the needs of the team above their own. This increases trust and builds morale. Servant leaders know how to remove roadblocks so the team can focus on forwarding progress without interruptions. A great example of this leadership style is Martin Luther King, Jr. who healed division while building community—and inspired others to do the same. 

Here are some tips and resources for cultivating this leadership style: 

  • Servant leadership can be exhausting: here’s our secret weapon for avoiding burnout while helping others achieve their potential 
  • Increase your professional influence throughout your company by sharing your team’s successes in creative ways (your leadership value will shine through!) 
  • Be aware of the fine balance between your need to take quick, decisive action toward a key business or team goal, and when it’s a value-add to seek team or individual input 

Adapting and Working with Other Styles 

These four common leadership styles are interchangeable. They are all versatile, valuable, and valid depending on the situation. Managing a team or project requires a mix of leadership capabilities, as there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. As a leader, it is your job to adapt your style to get the most out of the people around you. 

  • What elements of other leadership styles do you value?
  • Where can you continue to build strength in your preferred leadership style?
  • How you can better support leaders who use other leadership styles?
  • Has your leadership style evolved over time? 
  • Can you think of leaders that use more than one leadership style? 

Much like your taste in fashion, your style is likely to change over time. Company needs are always changing and a malleable leadership style—one that allows you to move in and out of a variety of styles depending on the situation, team, and need—positions you well to be considered a go-to-leader throughout your career. 

Learn more about different leadership styles by staying engaged with Propeller Leadership Insights.