Why you need Leadership Training

Leadership Training does (or should) spend some time on the Six Styles of Leadership. Behind each style is a more basic building block which is too often overlooked. We’ll talk about the the six styles first and then the ingredient which makes any of them work.


The current go-to guy on leadership styles is Daniel Goleman, first with Leadership That Gets Results (2000) and more recently Primal Leadership (2013). Before his work, in the 1990s, there were four types of leader (the Director, the Problem Solver, etc.). That model built upon earlier models dating back to the 1950s.

Although different authors use different variations, the Six Styles, according to Goleman (http://intenseminimalism.com/2015/the-six-styles-of-leadership/), are:

Visionary style aims toward a vision, a bright future. That style is used when pretty much everyone agrees that a change is needed. The visionary says, “we are heading west to better pastures” and everyone is on the wagon-train. It moves toward a future.

Coaching style works to make people more able so they will function as a team in the future. That style is used when the group has the luxury of developing new talent for ‘long-term strength.’ The Coach says, “yes, you can do it, and here’s how”. The team builds and next year that rival football team is toast. It builds a future.

Affiliative style works on ’emotional bonds and harmony’ and is used when a group has undergone stress. The Affiliate gets the others on the team to relate what each one saw, what worked, what didn’t. In the military, it is called a ‘debrief.’ It is used to repair a team so it can have a future.

Democratic style builds ‘consensus through participation.’ This style must be used when there is no clear vision of the future. It gets everyone to buy into a future. The leader asks, “what can we all agree on?” Once a future is decided upon, it can be worked toward.

Pacesetting style expects everyone is competent and knows what he or she is supposed to do. The team requires no Coach, only cheerleading. This style assumes a future and everyone is working toward it.

Commanding style has only one demand: obey! It is needed during a crisis. The ship is taking on water. The captain orders everyone to start bailing. If not obeyed, there is no future for anyone.


Each leader, or person who would be leader, has a natural bent toward one or two styles and a distaste for some other. Someone who likes being a visionary might have difficulty using the democratic style.

No matter what style a person would prefer, the style to use depends on the situation. Leadership training in Singapore must be conversant with all and know when to use each.


Every one of those styles from Aventis Learning is built on the ability to communicate. That may sound obvious, but before any person who would be leader attempts to lead, he or she must:

  • be willing to talk to others,
  • listen to them,
  • let them know they have been heard,
  • answer their questions,
  • and get their questions answered.

Communication is usually taught as the Process Model, which is not complete. To improve communication, to make a leader, each of the five skills above must be learned. Until then, no training will be effective.