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Tableof Contents

Compare and Contrast the Styles 3

Transformational Leader 4

Transactional Leaders 5

Authentic 6

Servant 8

Adaptive 10

Chosen Leader Discussion 12

Conclusion 15

References 17

is all about the ability to inspire and influence people towards agiven goal or objective. As opposed to management or directing thereis no room to compel people to adhere to certain rules andregulations in leadership (de Vries, 2012). Every business person inthe society can tell a story of an intelligent person promoted tobecome a leader and failed in his or her initial periods. Further,they also know someone promoted and succeeded in delivering theassigned tasks. Such differences are widespread in the society andthey connote to the belief that leaders do not have to be necessarilyeducated or intelligent, but they should have the ability to convinceother people. Moreover, it also postulates that selection of leadersis not a science, rather it is an art. After all, not all peopleexhibit same characteristics. Some leaders tend to be subdued andanalytical, while others tend to show their position and impact (Gunzel-Jensen, Jain, &amp Kjeldsen, 2016). At the same time, differentsituations call for the use of different leadership styles. Forexample, in most mergers there is a need to have a sensitivenegotiator, whereas in many turnarounds there is a need to have apowerful and more forceful authority in place. Based on thesurrounding circumstances and nature of projects, leaders can adoptdifferent styles to push for the accomplishment of the set goals. is an integral factor in the success of organizations inthe society. Lack of effective and reliable leadership can lead toproject failures and consequently organizational failure.

Compare and Contrast the Styles

Inone way or another, all leaders have a high degree of emotionalintelligence. The use of IQ is an entry requirement into anyleadership position in the society (Hariri, Monypenny, &ampPrideaux, 2014). However, it does not necessarily mean that a personwill succeed in his or her leading position. This is to say that, aperson with great skills, experience and all relevant certificationscannot make a great leader without emotional connectedness abilities.Thus, transactional, transformational, authentic, servant andadaptive leaders can be argued to be tied by emotional intelligence.

Transformational Leader

Atransformational leader is that who causes change in other people andthe social systems. From an ideal perspective, transformationalleaders are able to instigate change with a goal of improving welfareof the followers. These types of leaders emancipate motivation andperformance among followers. They also capitalize on the sense ofidentity, mission, vision, and objectives to spur follower emotions.At the same time, they act as role models and this becomes a sourceof inspiration to the followers challenge followers to assumegreater ownerships in their work and understand the weaknesses andstrengths of the followers in a bid to align followers with tasksthat optimize performance (Hariri, Monypenny, &amp Prideaux, 2014).

Theconcept of transforming leadership was first coined by JamesMacgregor Burns in his study on political leaders however, this termhas been used in modern businesses. According to Burns, transformingleadership is a process where leaders and followers work together andtry to help each other to advance to much higher levels (Che Hassan,2015). Morale and motivation spell the relationship between followersand leaders. Burns goes further to illustrate that transformativeleaders create significant change in people’s lives. Unlike thetransactional approach, it is based on the give and take principle,and on the ability of leaders to portray themselves as examples.Moreover, a transformative leader can decide to articulate energizingvision and challenging goals to elucidate the inner emotions of thefollowers to drive change. Transformative leaders tend to beidealized in the sense that they exhibit correlation to social moralsand working towards change in a bid to benefit the followers and thecommunity. According to Burns, both transactional andtransformational leaders are exclusive. While transformationalleaders try to bring about change to organizational culture,transactional leaders work within the premise of the existingcultures (İşcan, Ersarı, &amp Naktiyok, 2014).

Transformationalleadership is people oriented in the sense that, these leaders try tomotivate and inspire people to adhere to certain principles andvalues. There is no specific structure followed by transformationalleaders as compared to the structural based transactional leadershipstyle (Rogers, 2012). Transformational leadership style issignificant in the event that an urgent task needs to be solved. Inthis case a transformative leader will motivate and support thefollowers to achieve better results. The advantage of adopting thisstyle is that it can lead to inspiration of many people. Sincetransformational leadership style is a selling type, leaderssubscribing to this technique must exhibit high levels of convictionto work appropriately (Sethuraman &amp Suresh, 2014). Unfortunately,sometimes the goals and objectives of transformative leaders are notright and may be delusional. In such cases the role of such leaderscan be a possible danger to the wellbeing of the society.

Transactional Leaders

Transactionalleaders value conformity to specific exiting rules and regulations.They adhere to orderly and structurally based environments. Mostly,these types of leaders are found in the military or large and complexorganizations that call for the institution of rules and regulationsto attain the required objectives (Che Hassan, 2015). As compared totransformational leaders, transactional leaders are not good fit forprojects or places that require creativity and idea sharing. However,motivated people working in well structured and directed environmentsco-exist well with transactional leaders. By contrast,transformational leaders seek to motivate and inspire followers intochoosing a particular direction or complete a given product. Thefocus of transactional leaders is always on results, adhering torules and regulations and operating within an existing organizationalculture (Gu nzel-Jensen, Jain, &amp Kjeldsen, 2016). These types ofleaders gauge success based on organizational systems of reward andpenalties. Through their formal authority and positions inorganizations or in the society, these leaders are responsible formaintaining routine operations by managing individuals andfacilitating group performance. Previously defined requirements areused as metrics of measurement and the most common way to judge theirfollowers is based on constant performance reviews. Employees whoknow well their jobs and are motivated by the reward and penaltysystems bond well with these types of leaders.

Thestructure and method of leadership of transformational andtransitional personalities differ in the society (Hariri, Monypenny,&amp Prideaux, 2014). The emphasis of transactional approach isalways on managing performance of the people and how well they handletheir tasks and devise the best way possible to compensate them.However, there is always a consideration of the underlying policiesand regulations, which act as the primary reference point. On theother hand, transformational people tend to sell their ideas toothers with a motive of influencing them to join on the bandwagonthat campaign for change (Sethuraman &amp Suresh, 2014). At the sametime, transactional leaders are reactive. They tend to handlesituations as they occur. On the contrary, transformationalleadership style is proactive in nature and situations are most ofthe time handled before they occur. Group progress is a key issue intransformational environments while individual appeals to selfinterest are essential in transactional working conditions.


Authenticityhas been studied by various philosophers and management experts, fromGreek philosophers to the work of Shakespeare. Authentic leadershiphas been explored sporadically in the modern society and it has beenassociated with management science. These leaders are self aware andgenuine. Further, they are self actualized and have knowledge oftheir limitations and capabilities. Moreover, they show their realselves and do not conceal what they feel to their followers ondifferent subjects. Thus, they cannot be termed as double sided,because they never act in one way in public and act in another way inprivate. Authentic leaders do not hide their mistakes, weaknesses, oraccomplishments. They tend to conform to the philosophy oftransparency and openness, and this explains the realization thatself actualization is an endless journey that is never complete(Kiersch &amp Byrne, 2015). The leaders are driven by specificmissions and they are constantly focused on the end results.Authenticity calls for the institution of strategies and techniquesto handle specific objectives to attain stipulated goals andobjectives. Self interest is not tolerated under authenticleadership, the key is ensuring that the mission is complete andpositive results attained. Such leaders in society are commonlyevident in the pursuance of humanitarian campaigns, environmentalconservation, and legal processes.

Authenticleaders not only lead with their heart, but also with their minds.They are never afraid to exhibit their emotions and vulnerability ina bid to connect with the people. Emotional attributes tend tosolicitude more support from the society impacted by the same issuesthat leaders strive to change. However, this does not mean thatauthentic leaders are soft and weak rather it means that they havethe ability and capacity to link with their followers (Sethuraman &ampSuresh, 2014). Empathy is key in enhancing communication and seekingsupport to pursue an agenda. Unlike transactional leaders, authenticleaders try to pry on the emotions of the followers just like thetransformation leaders. The major difference between authentic andtransactional leaders is that, while authentic leadership rules onthe premise of empathy and emotional connect, transactionalleadership follows specific documented processes to attain a givenobjective or goal. In fact, both authentic and transformationalleadership styles tend to reap from emotional connectedness (Nyberg &ampSveningsson, 2014). However, unlike authentic leadership strategythat requires leading by both the heart and mind, transformationalleadership calls for the use of intelligence in the expression ofideas. However, this does not mean that transformational leaders donot use their hearts at least they do to a much lesser extent ascompared to authentic leaders.

is all about leading followers to attain an end objective. Thus,transactional, transformational and authentic leaders subscribe to aneed to accomplish a long term goal or objective. For example,organizational leaders are focused on long term goals of maximizingshareholder’s value and not just attaining the monthly salestargets. A leader cannot be a leader without a clear goal, objective,or mission. It is such values that create leaders and encourage morefollowers to align to specific activities and beliefs. Othercharacteristics that describe authentic leaders include integrity,influence and affluence, insight, impact, and initiative (Nyberg &ampSveningsson, 2014). Generally, the principle foundation of authenticleadership is on emphasis on establishing legitimacy and honesty withthe followers ethical foundation is a pillar of the leadershipstyle.


Agood objective of leadership is to help those performing poorly to dobetter and encourage those who are doing good to do even better. Theterm servant leadership was first coined by Robert Greenleaf in the1970s. However, the approach has been immensely used over manycenturies (Palumbo, 2016). The principle behind the approach is thata servant leader is first a “servant”. This is to mean that sucha lead first focuses on the needs of the others, and morespecifically the followers or team members before addressing his orher needs. Similarly, a servant leader acknowledges other people’sperspective, and gives them support that they need to accomplish setgoals or objectives. At the same time, there is a push to establish astrong sense of community among the team members. Through emotionalconnect, trust and strong engagements the leaders are able toconvince followers to follow certain principles or ideas (Davenport,2014). The relationship between servant leaders and followers createsan environment that fosters innovation and development. Ideally themain aim is not change, however, if change is the solution toproblems or issues that face the followers or change is the path toachieve the set goals then there is a need to change organizationalculture. Thus, servant leadership style tends to exhibit bothtransactional and transformational approaches although this may behard to establish accurately.

Servantleadership cannot be termed entirely as a form of leadership stylerather it can be described as a way of behaving that is adopted overa long period of time. More importantly it complementstransformational type of leadership commonly used in organizations.At the same time, it also complements the democratic leadershipapproach. Following the provisions of the strategy, leaders mustexhibit high levels of humility in their work. The problem with thisstyle is that it cannot adequately apply in hierarchical andautocratic cultures where managers are normally required to make alldecisions. In such situations it may be difficult for servant leadersto command respect. Servant leadership begins with the feeling ofwanting to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.Emotional connect to a desire to save differentiates a servant leaderfrom transactional leaders immensely. While transactions leadersexhibit a desire to become leaders, servant leaders exhibit a desireto become servants first before being crowned as leaders. Whiletraditional leadership approaches focus on the accumulation ofresources, servant leadership technique correlates to helping peopleto grow or improve the well being of the followers and team members(Davenport, 2014).

Someof the key characteristics of servant leaders that differentiate themfrom other forms of leadership styles include: empathy, activelistening, healer, awareness, persuasion, foresight, stewardship,commitment to growth, community building, and conceptualization. Fromthe depicted characteristics it is easy to decipher that there areimmense relationships between authentic and servant leaders. In bothcases there is a sense of foresight, awareness, commitment, empathy,and persuasion. However, the strongest connection is exhibitedbetween servant leaders and transformational leaders (Palumbo, 2016).The two types tend to coexist with servant leadership stylecomplementing the transformational leaderships approach. Growth andemancipation, community building, and awareness transcends betweenthe two techniques of leading in the society.


Anadaptive leadership style is illustrated as a practical style in thesociety construed to help the community and organizations adapt inorder to thrive in the ever changing environments. It is all aboutbeing able to take on the changes that continuously occur. Theprocess of change must be meaningful. The approach used is thediagnosis of the essentials from the expendables and ensuring thatthere is a real challenge to the status quo. Adaptive leaders try todetermine what practices are core to the future and what obstaclesthat are likely to impact future performances. After establishingpossible future changes, the leaders then devise strategies and testtheir next practices, and finally integrate the best practices. Inorganizations, adaptive leaders are able to realize when the existingaspirations and innovations cannot foster progress. Through theirleading framework they then diagnosis, interrupt and innovate betterstrategies and capabilities that match the aspirations oforganizations. Thus, this type of leadership is purposeful evolutionin real time. In the military the leadership style is based onsituations and factors like mission, soldier capability, the type ofweapon used and the geographic location. However, adaptive leadershipis more than just immediate reactions to situations. These leadersanticipate situations or outcomes and take measures to ensure thatthey mitigate any negative outcomes that may arise. As an adaptiveleader, one is expected to take risks and make decisions based onfuture change (Haber-Curran &amp Tillapaugh, 2013). At the sametime, they tend to learn from events and adjust accordingly to matchthe changes. Such leaders are also able to switch immediately fromone critical task to another task without hesitation.

Adaptiveleaders may struggle to gain experience, but they are able tosuccessfully work through the learning process. They are able tolearn valuable lessons, acquire new skills, and gather usefulinformation to succeed in their endeavors. Furthermore, they gothrough continuous challenges, learning and adaptation that requireembracing change. In order for one to become an adaptive leader he orshe must exhibit high levels of mental flexibility and agility.Moreover, there is a need to conceptualize at high speed andprecision especially in decision making processes. One must also befit and equipped with proper technical skills and tactics in a waythat followers get to respect and belief in his or her actions.Adaptive leadership style differs immensely from the transactionalleadership style (Boylan, 2016).

Asopposed to following the laid down rules and following a work plan,adaptive leaders try to devise different strategies to attain a givengoal or objective. Change is crucial in this type of leadership andthis explains why it relates with the transformational leadershipstyle. In addition, it also relates with the authentic leadershipstyle in which self awareness, empathy and change are required. Theconnection between servant and adaptive leadership is also evident.In both cases leaders are required to adopt to change and place theneeds of their followers ahead of their own. The goal in both casesis to ensure that they safeguard their teams and devise strategies totackle current and future challenges (Haber-Curran &amp Tillapaugh,2013). In all the five types of leadership styles discussed, it isimportant to note that, it is only transactional leaders who stick tothe status quo. Change is not an alternative under transactionalleaders. However, servant, adaptive, transformational and authenticchange is invited as long as it does not hamper or inflict harm onthe society or the followers.

Chosen Leader Discussion

MahatmaGandhi’s official name was Mohandas Karamchand. Through hisleadership styles and commitment to save his people, he was crownedone of the world’s greatest leaders. However, it is important tonote that he was not born as a leader. His leadership came aboutowing to constant training and learning influenced by a number ofevents that happened in the world. Throughout his life, he wentthrough numerous challenges. Mahatma kept learning and improving hispersonalities to transform with the changes at the time. Hiscontinued learning and this made him qualify as an adaptive leader.He was a shy person bon on the 2ndof October in 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. When he went to London, hetried to live a lavish lifestyle however, he found such lifeunworthy and a waste of time. After completion of his studies, hequalified as lawyer and was posted in South Africa. In his initialdays in the country he was subjected to apartheid discrimination (CheHassan, 2015). It was during this period that he began to transitionas a mass leader. For about 20 years, he fought for the rights of theIndians in South Africa, and his activism made him popular.

Aftergoing back to India, Gandhi continued to fight for the rights of thepeople. He wanted change in the society. He immensely fought forequality and fairness in the society through non-violent means.Gandhi was a visionary and a transformative leader who believed thatchange will come through peaceful coexistence. He tried to convincepeople to see his perspective and ideas, through emotionalconnectedness. At the same time, Mahatma can be described as atransactional leader driven by specific morals and values. Moreover,he established an internal locus of inspiration and control to hispeople and successfully convinced them to resonate with his ideas.Despite the fact that he encountered many roadblocks in his path, hedid not stop fighting for the freedom of the people in spite ofhaving a position of power. He did not alter his attitude orprinciples throughout the lifetime (Hariri, Monypenny, &ampPrideaux, 2014). As a transformational leader, Mahatma wanted tocreate a society that was ruled by the indigenous people and not byoutsiders.

Gandhihad massive followings and this was as a result of the servantleadership style he had acquired (Palumbo, 2016). He was selfless anddedicated his life towards helping the needy. Right from the time hereached in India till he died, Gandhi fought tirelessly to ensurethat his people’s lives improved. He put a lot of effort infighting racial discrimination in Africa and back home. He wasagainst any social injustices or inequalities, caste system andexploitation of women. Due to his dedication and connectingemotionally or fitting in the shoes of the helpless in the society,he succeeded in winning the trust of the people across the world, andmore especially in India and this explains why people were ready todo whatever he said. Moreover, the act of connecting with the peoplecan partially paint Gandhi as an authentic leader. He was honest inhis actions and subscribed to specific rules and regulations borrowedfrom spiritual books. However, the traits of authentic leadership arefaintly illustrated.

Servantleadership is also exhibited in his humility and down to earthbehaviors that helped create a strong bond between him as a leaderand the people (Palumbo, 2016). He constantly kept a low profiledespite his ability to live a lavish life. Instead of living as alearned lawyer, he ensured that he wore simple clothing and adopted avoluntary poverty lifestyle only using the basic necessities. It isbecause of such traits that the people of India were able to connectwith him as an ordinary Indian person and they tried to imitate hisways in order to bring positive change in the society. Gandhi canalso be termed as practical transformative leader who ensured that heput all ideas into practice. Whatever he believed in, he ensured thathe demonstrated it in real life. Moreover, as a servant leader,Gandhi had a proclivity of serving people, fought for equal rights,and he wanted freedom for all people without using violent means. Henever at any point gave up in bringing about change in the society nomatter the sufferings he was subjected to by the ruling class ofpeople. Mahatma was very good in empowering and energizing people. Hemajorly employed a civil disobedience approach in the society and wasagainst any form of violence. Through his actions, he restored theconfidence of the Indians that they were capable to fend forthemselves and they did not require the British. He chose the issuesthat impacted the lives of the people and as a leader ensured that hecalled out the issues and provided an alternative to counter theproblems faced in the community at the time a good example is thesalt tax case (Sethuraman &amp Suresh, 2014).

Basedon his activities, Mahatma subscribed to different leadership styles.It is difficult to say that Gandhi exhibited a single leadershipstyle owing to the different circumstances that he faced. Forexample, he can be depicted as a transformative leader and this isevident when he dealt with many people to call for change in thesociety. He was a servant leader because he worked for the people inthe society with full commitment. He was a transactional leaderbecause he aligned to specific rules and laws borrowed from spiritualbooks. He was an adaptive leader because he was able to learn andtransform with change, and finally he as an authentic leader becausehe clearly expressed his inner personality and connected emotionallywith the people because of the way he lived (Rogers, 2012). However,all these leadership styles were embraced in different stages. Thus,the order can be depicted as: Gandhi started as an adaptive leaderand this is when he started learning transforming to change. Afterclearly analyzing the events that happened in the society, he went onto become a transformational leader fighting for change. He onlybecame a transactional leader when he subscribed to specific laws andrules borrowed from spiritual books. Further, Gandhi became anauthentic leader when he clarified his position as a poor person andmixed with the locals the approach was an illustration of honesty.Most importantly, throughout his life, Gandhi was more of a servantleader who wanted to ensure that the society was conducive andlivable by his people. Throughout his life, the leadership stylesthat dominated were transformational and servant leadership styles.


is all about leading and a good leader must connect with his or herfollowers. As discussed there are numerous leadership styles that canbe adopted and this is dictated by personalities of people, events,and environments. In this paper the main types of leadership stylesdiscussed include transformational, transactional, authentic,adaptive, and servant. These leadership styles are quite different.While transactional leader maintenance the status quo and follows thelaid down rules and regulations, a transformational leader isinterested on bringing about change in order to improve the wellbeing of the followers. Authentic leaders try to connect withfollowers through honesty and legitimacy. Adaptive leaders analyze asituation and decide whether to change or not. These leadersconstantly learn and develop based on a situation in a bid to improvein the future. Servant leaders are down to earth and humble peoplewho try to serve their people and ensure that they are exposed to thebest of conditions. Servant leaders are also selfless. The leaderchosen for the purpose of this discussion was Mahatma Gandhi.Throughout his life, he seemed to illustrate the five types ofleadership styles. However, a higher proportion of his life followedtransformational and servant leadership styles. He fought for changeand served the people both in India and South Africa.


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