While everyone has their own leadership style to a certain
extent, and while all of us exercise leadership in our lives (whether it’s managing
2,000 employees or raising our children), there is a lot of speculation on
whether men and women tend to lead differently. Research on how leadership styles
differ by gender is mixed – some studies find a difference, while others show
no gender effect.
In a Harvard
Business Review article), Judy Rosener’s research showed how male leaders
are more likely to use a “command-and-control” leadership style where formal authority
and a focus on the task at hand drive action by subordinates, while female
leaders are more likely to report using a “transformational leadership”
approach, motivating others to embrace broader organizational goals and building
inter-personal relationships. Alice Eagly, author of Through
the Labyrinth performed a meta-analysis of all such research studies and found
that indeed, women leaders tend to rely more on transformational
leadership. This leadership style,
she found, is “more akin to being an excellent teacher than a traditional boss”,
growing others for success and enhancing overall employee leadership capacity.
The best leadership approach depends on organizational
culture and context, yet transformational leadership has been shown to be more effective
overall in environments necessitating collaboration and innovation and high
levels of organizational change, such as the high-tech industry.
Individual consideration to other’s needs
Mentoring and coaching others to be successful
Challenges assumptions and invites ideas from others
Creates and articulates a vision that others want to
Trust is built with co-workers and employees
Examples of transformational leaders according to various
Angela Merkel, Chancellor,
Queen Elizabeth I
Martin Luther King Jr.
Bill Gates of Microsoft
Lou Gerstner of IBM