The 9 Different Leadership Techniques used by CEOs

Leadership 22 Jul 2020
The 9 Different Leadership Techniques used by CEOs

Leadership can be the defining factor between whether a senior manager makes the leap into a c-level position. Understanding what type of leader you are and other types you can apply in certain situations can be a useful tool to help you stand out to your boss.

Find out what type of leadership style fits you and your company best, so you can begin to cultivate it and gain unprecedented results and gratification for that promotion you’ve been longing for.


An autocratic leader leads solely on the authority they assumed from their position. They control the efforts of their team and monitor their performance under close scrutiny.

Made famous in the early ages and ancient empires, autocratic leadership styles have fallen out of favour in the training manuals of today but it can still be found amongst some organisations today.

It is most effective when control is necessary and little margin for error exists. The most common place where you will find autocratic leadership is in the Military however it is also common to find it in construction and manufacturing companies.


Command and Control

Similar to the autocratic style of leadership, this leader is a stern task maker using disciplinary repercussions when tasks are not met or to an unsatisfactory level.

Although the leader will follow the rules they set, they will have complete control over when, why and how tasks are completed. This style is most effective in times of real urgency or when safety is at stake (such as a fire evacuation).

The only negatives that exist in this style is the restricted nature felt from its employees. They get no say or input and can be disheartening if it is applied full-time.

Effective in short bursts; it is very operational for change managers as they look to revamp an organisation with the short time frame they have been given.

Democratic (Participatory)

Democratic leadership style is the most common in the 21st Century. The input from its employees and management is valued and discussed together with a decision being made only when a high majority agree upon it.

It is effective as it boosts employee morale as they feel like a valued member of the organisation, having been part of the decision making process. It helps the change process become implemented easier, moreso than other leadership styles, as employees have been a part of the conclusion.

The negatives of this style is it is often a slow decision making process as there must be a mutually suitable time for everyone to speak and agree on. On the flip side, it may make for a more informed decision as you are able to utilise the minds of your skilled workers.

Industries where this style is popular is the advertising and design, consulting, education and service industries.

Chairman talking to his team


This type of leadership style places emphasis on creating harmony among their leaders followers. It is this harmony that will enable problems and conflicts to be solved as everyone works together.

The leaders praise their employees often to build this culture, however a key drawback about this style is that often times poor performance tends to be swept under the rug. This can be harmful when the company is dwindling and a stronger more autocratic approach may be necessary.


This leader as you probably could have assumed leads by example. They follow the high performance standards set by themselves and expects the same of their team.

The challenges this style faces is usually it is in a subject area the leader is passion about.  If you have employees who share a similar passion, great, however an imbalance of passion may mean the high pace the leader sets is not sustainable and employees burn out from the workload.


The Laissez-Faire leader tends to have a hands off approach in their leadership methods, relying and trusting the word of the employee to get what they have been told to get done. With no supervision or leadership development, this often works for highly skilled and individual employees but not for those needing such oversight. If you wrongly categorize your employee as the former, you can see poor production and efficiency costs creep in.

This style is becoming more popular in today’s society as the advancements in technology mean people can work from around the globe on a single project. It is extremely useful for the technology industry, particularly as they work on projects, in different locations, due by a particular date.

It is also a successful method for creating higher job satisfaction as the employee has the luxury of working his or her own hours.


A visionary leader has an idea and inspires others around them to follow them in the needed direction. They lead through inspiration and motivation, giving positive thoughts into believing that this vision is best for the greater good.

Arguably the most famous visionary leader was Dr. Martin Luther King and his racial equality movement.

This style is highly effective when a new direction is needed within a company or a clearer direction needs to be identified. Although one of the most effective leadership styles, it is also the most difficult to achieve.


This type of leader helps the development of its employees for future growth. One of the most prevalent leadership styles among senior managers today, this type of leader is very effective in settings where performance or results need improvement, but not complete re-structuring.

Placing higher values on the skills already possessed by their employees and developing their weaknesses, this is an effective means of leadership as the leader makes the decision, yet communication is two-way.

Overall, it creates a positive workplace environment with high employee interaction and can be see across many industries, including finance, HR and healthcare.


Transactional leadership is a style often seen in the sales industry and a salaries based upon commission. By setting rewarded tasks it has proven to be highly successful in the sales industry and more industries are following in their footsteps.

It creates a greater enthusiasm for ordinary jobs and excitement for new tasks. It is also an easy way for management to track an employees progress and whether they are under performing or consistently missing/meeting/beating their goals.

The only downside of this is it is not a long-term sustainable venture as there can be a high variance of employee ability. Some people are naturally better at some tasks than others and varying rates for similar tasks can cause debate in the office.


What leadership type do you prefer as a boss? What leadership type do you prefer as an employee? Ask yourself these questions before applying them yourself.

We have coaching options available to help build your leadership skills. Upload your CV today and look at our coaching options available by clicking below:

Click Here & Upload Your CV

← Leadership Traits Every Executive Needs to Succeed 6 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement for 2020 →

About the author

Career Intelligence

Comments are closed