New Perspectives on Leadership Styles

By | July 11, 2018

[July 11, 2018]  Nearly every day I come across an article or a book that discusses leadership styles.  I’ve even discussed them (here and here) and also had some thoughts on the “evolution” of leadership here.  But a recent article by Miles Anthony Smith got me to thinking about them again.

Smith takes a look at the most common leadership styles, along with a few leadership models, that can help us lead, be led, or encourage others on their leadership journey.  His point that leadership is a journey is, I think, his most important contribution to the long-studied effort to understand how leaders lead.

“All leadership should start with understanding how we lead and manage ourselves; this includes our emotions and actions. Without this first step, we will be less effective in influencing others due to lack of clarity on who we are, how we are perceived, and how we are to approach our team.” – Miles Anthony Smith

He emphasizes a line of thinking that I have made part of my leadership blog since its inception.  First, to be a truly good leader, you must know yourself as well as what resources you have in terms of other people, time, and money.  Second, to be a good leader, you must understand your mission in terms of problems, constraints, and issues.

Smith follows generally my emphasis on the idea that to be an effective leader one must promote trust and confidence in those being led.  He notes, for example, that research shows that teams perform better with a leadership style that values people and ethics over profits.

I liked his discussion of situational leadership.  He notes that this style requires flexibility that adapts to situations a leader by encounter.  Once long ago I was told that I had adopted this leadership style.  However, I believe that any leader must adapt their leadership to the situation.  Yet, while we have preferences in style, no great leader adheres to one leadership style all the time.

Smith ends his article on “influential celebrity” leadership styles.  Actually, he is showing us the leader styles of some very famous and very successful people.  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos just to name a few are presented.  Many of those he presents have been my leadership blog here at

I recommend you read his article.  Well done, Miles.


Please follow and like us:
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

30 thoughts on “New Perspectives on Leadership Styles

  1. Tracey Brockman

    As always, a great education to be here at your leadership website. Mr. Smith obviously knows what he’s writing about and thank you for pointing to his website.

  2. Mike Baker

    Good article. I enjoyed Mr. Smith’s article too. Thanks.

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Thanks, I was wondering where the link was. 😉

  3. Army Captain

    The study of leadership is a worthwhile profession. The practice of it is the ultimate end to that study.

    1. Georgie M.

      Thank you for your service and verifying that this is worthwhile.

  4. Wesley Brown

    Ten years ago you could only find this kind of work in textbooks and an occasional article in a professional journal. Today they are easy to find and each adds to the worth to study leadership. Thanks General Satterfield for showcasing it for us.

  5. Max Foster

    Not that long ago you would not have seen this type of work. I’m glad there is more of it. When I began my leadership journey (and that is what Mr. Smith correctly calls it), there was nothing. Nothing! If you were lucky (very lucky, indeed) you found a mentor. Most of us just stumbled through by making mistake after mistake. Now we are the ones who should make learning leader skills easier.

    1. Albert Ayer

      I agree and will add that we need to take a logical approach to the learning but remember that leadership also involves an emotional element.

    2. Scotty Bush

      Well said, Max. Keep up the great observations for us.

    3. Miles Smith

      This is so true Max! I am grateful to be part of other people’s leadership journey where we can learn from one another. It’s truly a two-way street. 🙂

  6. Watson Bell

    In the scheme of the study of leadership this type of work has its value. Thanks Gen. Satterfield for showcasing it for us.

  7. Kenny Foster

    I have found in my experiences that most people have absolutely no clue what leadership is about but just they will recognize it if they see it. Like good artwork, most of us only notice when we see it. So too, Miles Anthony Smith’s works are valuable and should be read for the good content.

    1. Miles Smith

      Great point, Kenny! I love the metaphor of recognizing great leadership (like art). We might not always be able to describe what good leadership is, but we know it when we see it (or don’t)!

  8. Dale Paul Fox

    Always a pleasure to read your blog every day and drink my coffee, pet my dog, and peruse the Internet.

  9. Tony B. Custer

    Thanks for making us aware of Miles Smith and his work in the field of leadership. 😉

  10. Joe the Aussie

    Good article today. Discussing leadership styles has a value that most junior leaders should pay attention to as they learn more and more about what they need to be successful. Thank you.

  11. Martin Shiell

    The push in some academic quarters to categorize leadership is necessary for basic learning. We need others to advance this issue more so that the learning of leadership skills and characteristics are more developed. In this way, we will be able to assist junior leaders more so.

    1. Roger Yellowmule

      Good comment. We need more of this but also more advanced works.

    2. Eric Coda

      Yes, I do agree also. Thanks Martin for sharing your concerns.

    3. Miles Smith

      Those of us who have advanced in our leadership journey surely stand on the shoulders of those who paved the way before us! And others will stand on our shoulders in the future. It’s all about helping others grow into better leaders.

  12. Jonathan B.

    Very good. I like to see your comments on articles like this and as such it pushes me to rethink much of what I take for granted. More such Mr. Smith’s article would be appreciated.

  13. Janna Faulkner

    Yes, this was a good article by Mr. Smith. It kind of summarizes a lot of stuff I’ve seen in the past and does it well.

    1. Bill Sanders, Jr.

      I agree and appreciate Gen. Satterfield’s research on the topic.

    2. Anita

      Yes, I too agree it’s a good article and thanks to Mr. Smith, well done!

Comments are closed.