Understanding Leadership Styles

David Trammel's picture

I came across this article which, while it is focused on Trump and his voter base, serves as a good introduction to some of the types of leadership styles there are.

Trump's core supporters won't reject him. It would mean rejecting their own values.

Green Wizards will need to be able to recognize what kind of leadership style a group of people or community is using, and how to tailor their approach to cause the best outcome to meet their objectives. Be it get a law allowing home chicken raising in their local community or changing voter perception on a national level.

The article mentions three types of leadership style:

"Contractual Mode" which is based on an agreement that sets out obligations and rewards. Think of your place of employment. The agreement is you do labor or services for your employer, and in exchange you get paid. The structure of the leadership, and the obligations can be very informal in small groups or very formal with written employee handbooks in larger groups or companies.

"Command Mode" is based on the power of a body of laws and rules, which carry the possibility of punishment or discipline. This style is often used in governments or military organizations and delivered through a well defined chain of superior and subordinate authority.

The article discusses in depth a third style of leadership, "Communion Mode".

"Communion governance structures rely on regular in-person meetings, call and response rituals (witness the continued usefulness of "Lock her up!" chants at Trump rallies, despite Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss) and faith in shared values and experiences. Groups built around communion authority are tightly connected and very strong in part because, research shows, they display “homophily and parochialism directed to those outside the group.” (That is a scholarly way of saying that those in communion groups tend to associate and bond with people that are similar to themselves and view those who are not with suspicion and hostility.)"

While the article takes a negative stance on this style of leadership, since it is Trump, its important to realize that other organizations also use this style. Consider the "Extinction Revolution" movement and other environmental groups. They very much, like Trump supporters and religious organizations, are made up of people with shared values and beliefs.


What other styles have you come across, and how have you interacted with the various styles?

Blueberry's picture

Trump and Truman same style of leadership. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_of_Harry_S._Truman You should read a copy of Truman's unsent letters. Harry did not have the internet back then the man had a temper!!!