Transformational models for leadership rely on collaborative problem-solving and creative teamwork. Create a culture of innovative change by leading to transform.

Models for leadership identify and shape our approach to managing others. Identifying the leadership models that benefit your organization the most will provide the best insight into how your team can do their best work together. 

Statistics show that transformational leadership is a preferable method for leading as it is uniquely equipped to drive innovation. With an 84% success rate, transformational leadership is one of the most reliable and motivating models for leadership. 

Models for Leadership

In this article, we explore various leadership models and the most beneficial approach to management in the following topics: 

  • Exploring Leadership Styles
  • A Strategy for Transformation
  • Models for Strategic Leadership
  • Choosing Your Leadership Model

Exploring Leadership Styles

At its core, leadership is grounded in one’s ability to influence others for the better. In an organization, the best models for leadership encourage a healthy environment in which team members thrive. 

The most successful leaders display traits such as:

  • Confidence
  • Honesty 
  • Problem-solving
  • Clear communication
  • Active listening
  • Inspirational guidance

Leadership is like any other skill that can be honed and refined. Models for leadership allow anyone interested in bettering their leadership skills the opportunity to grow. The best models explore tried and true methods for leading organizations and facilitating team growth and development. 

These leadership models help leaders actively design the best fit for leading their organization. The best leadership models highlight the greatest qualities in management and encourage the same in team members. Leaders of every level can find the right models for leadership to enhance their skills. 

Models for Leadership

A Strategy for Transformation

Transformational leadership allows us to lead with intention. In leading an innovative organization, leaders must constantly adapt their leadership strategy to meet the needs of their audience. 

Most companies already lead their teams with an operational approach to leadership. This is essentially a leadership style that focuses on the factors involved in ensuring an organization’s basic operational needs are met. For an organization to expand beyond the basics and step into a transformative space, it must approach leadership in a way that advocates for innovation. For leaders to take on transformational roles, they need to consider leadership with a desire to change the future and the ability to drive innovation. 

That’s where strategic leadership comes in. 

This approach to leadership centers on creative problem-solving and big-picture thinking. This type of leadership is essential for organizations hoping to design a culture of continual learning and collaborative change

Models for Strategic Leadership

Exploring models for leadership starts with a clear strategy. 

In exploring the best way to lead your organization, consider the following 12 leadership models:


Transformational leadership centers on vision and integrity as core qualities. Transformational leaders prioritize open communication as the vehicle for fostering respect and trust with employees. This model for leadership is an essential step in leading new initiatives and promoting innovative ideas. These leaders are experts in achieving buy-in from their team members as they encourage others to support the larger mission. 

2. Transactional

Transactional leadership is a reward-based model. This form of leadership focuses on employees’ personal interests as the motivating factor to improve their performance. Functional leaders set performance goals, promise rewards, and award employees once the job is done. 

Identify the Right Level of Stakeholder Communication


Get Our Identify the Right Level of Stakeholder Communication

Identify the right stakeholders and map them to a communication grid to balance support with time and resources.

Consequently, this leadership model also encourages proper behavior by punishing employees if certain goals aren’t met. While this is an effective method for improving performance, it often has a negative effect on deepening relationships and driving innovation. 

3. Servant

Servant leadership relies on selflessness as leaders center the needs of others in achieving their shared vision. Through awareness and self-reflection, these leaders gain insight into their initiatives and personal goals. Through mentorship, servant leaders uplift their teams and inspire them to achieve greater success. 

4. Autocratic

Autocratic leaders don’t consider others’ opinions in their decision-making process. These leaders expect team members to comply with no questions asked. This leadership is most effective in time-sensitive situations that require accelerated decision-making. However, autocratic leadership can quickly cause others to feel neglected and abused if their needs are consistently disregarded. 

5. Democratic

 Democratic leaders practice participative leadership. Such models of leadership encourage leaders to seek the opinions of others and encourage collaboration in discussions and decision-making. Democratic leadership promotes diversity and encourages ideation. 

6. Laissez-Faire

Laissez-faire is translated to “allow to do” and represents an economic model for leadership based on passivity. This type of leadership encourages employees to work everything out on their own by taking a hands-off approach to leadership. In abdicating responsibility when it comes to decision-making, laissez-faire leaders can unintentionally create a chaotic environment that lacks proper organizational structure. 

7. Bureaucratic

Following the rules is at the heart of bureaucratic leadership. In this leadership model, employees follow established protocols and rules to meet the expected goals and responsibilities. These leaders are especially effective in organizations that require a detail-oriented approach to leadership.  

8. Charismatic 

Charisma and magnetism are key to the charismatic leadership model. Charismatic leaders are charming and inspiring as they lead with positivity and encourage others to support their vision as well. This type of leader is highly effective in increasing employee engagement and improving a company’s bottom line. 

9. Pacesetting

Pacesetting leaders are results-driven. These leaders have great expectations and push their teams to work hard and achieve more. Though models for leadership like this one are effective, a pacesetting leader will find it hard to sustain this mindset of high achievement in the long term. These types of leaders must work to prevent burnout in themselves and their teams. 

10. Ethical

The best models for leadership include elements of the ethical leadership model. This model prioritizes logic and justice, with a focus on respecting the rights of every participant. By centering ethics in your leadership style, you’ll treat your staff with honesty, respect, and understanding.  

Risks/Rewards of Change


Get Our Risks/Rewards of Change

This template helps your team consider both the risk and the rewards of choosing to make a change or choosing to keep the status quo.

11. Affiliative

Affiliative leadership is a people-first leadership model with an emphasis on building collaborative relationships. Affiliative leaders act as emotional support systems for their teams. By centering emotion and compassion in your leadership style, you’ll be able to quickly resolve personal conflicts with your employees.

12. Coaching

Coaching leadership allows staff members to develop their own leadership skills. This leadership model focuses on goals rather than tasks. These leaders see the big picture and avoid getting lost in the details.

These leadership models serve as guides to influence certain leadership behaviors within an organization. Models for leadership are built upon the behaviors of leaders and their teams. These factors are driven by a concern for others and a concern for tasks.

According to a study from Ohio State University, these  behaviors can be broken down into the following:

  • Initiating Structure: Task behaviors like scheduling, organizing, and reviewing the completion of work.
  • Consideration: Relationship behaviors such as trust and respect for others 

This study suggests that successful leaders should be competent in both behaviors. These factors act as building blocks for successful models of leadership.

Models for Leadership

Choosing Your Leadership Model

Your leadership model shapes your organizational culture. As you review different models for leadership, pay attention to the most advantageous elements that help promote your ideal culture. With a strategic approach to designing your leadership strategy, you’ll identify the best models for leadership.

Transformational leadership models allow control to be distributed evenly throughout an organization. At Voltage control, we propose transformational models for leadership that allow us to think creatively, explore new skills, and learn from teamwork. This transformational approach to leadership encourages every team member to refine their leadership skills and work to drive change together. 

In an organization that champions transformational leadership, team leaders share responsibilities with their team members. While a leader may facilitate the conversation and act from a position of power, the real power doesn’t begin and end in the c-suite. This model ultimately acts as an equalizer in organizations that favor hierarchical leadership.

As leaders seek to promote change, they look to their teams to make the necessary changes. By cultivating a culture of active listening and collaborative engagement, every member of the team participates in leading innovation. 

Hoping to engage transformational leadership at your organization? Voltage Control can help you and your team define the best path for your organization’s continuous improvement.  

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