What kind of leader are you?

Did you know that if your second toe is longer than your big toe, it means that you’re a natural-born leader?

Okay, okay, this may be an old wives tale, but in all seriousness, being a leader is probably one of the coolest things you could possibly be (regardless of what your toe length has to say about it)!

Leadership is an extremely important management function for many different reasons. For one, leadership initiates action. Have you ever been assigned to a group project in high school or uni and everyone is too scared to speak up and take charge? We have, and it’s the worst. A leader will speak up and take charge of the situation, which usually causes everyone else in the group to let out a sigh of relief because they’re all waiting for someone to speak up.

A leader will also provide motivation and guidance while creating confidence in others. Have you ever noticed that being around leaders inspires you to be the best version of yourself? Being a good manager or leader is essential in creating a confident, passionate and inspired workforce and there is nothing better than working for a strong leader who pumps your tyres from time to time!

There are numerous different types of leadership styles that you may have learned about if you managed to stay awake for your Psychology 101 lectures at uni. If that seemed an impossible feat, we’ve got you covered by narrowing down the five different types of leaders that we found most prevalent. Take a peek at the different leadership styles described below to determine which one of the categories you fall under!

Keep in mind: you can belong to more than one leadership category.

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The Charismatic Leader

This is a type of leader who has a way with words and is not only an eloquent speaker but someone who can connect with people on a deep, emotional level.

Characteristics of a charismatic leader:



Great communicator


Strong, larger-than-life personality

Icons: Oprah Winfrey, Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela

The Innovative Leader

This is a type of leader who is always one step in front of the pack. He/she is highly creative and isn’t afraid to think outside the box and take risks on new ideas.


Characteristics of an innovative leader:




Quick thinker


Icons: Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates

The Commanding Leader

This is a type of leader who has no problem taking the reins and leading the troops into battle. He/she was probably dubbed a ‘bossy cow’ as a child, but now harnesses that commanding personality and uses it to lead. This type of leadership style is characterized by a hands-on approach.


Characteristics of a commanding leader:

Follows the rules

Has high expectations for his/herself and others


Speaks with conviction


Comfortable taking charge

Icons: Stonewall Jackson (military leader), George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tom Coughlin (coach of the New York Giants)

The Relaxed Leader

This is a type of leader who can inspire from the sidelines while his/her staff makes magic happen. This leader has faith in his/her staff and believes that little to no interference in the creative process is key for producing exceptional results. This type of leadership style is characterised by a hands-off approach.

Characteristics of a relaxed leader:

Extremely trusting in others


More reserved/introverted


Capable of providing constructive feedback on a regular basis

Good at delegating tasks/responsibilities

Good at empowering groups

Icons: Dona Karen (founder of DKNY), Warren Buffet, Mahatma Gandhi, Hebert Hoover (former U.S. president), Queen Victoria

The Serving Leader

This is a type of leader who serves others and their interests before his or her own interests.

Characteristics of a serving leader:

Active listener



Highly aware


Possesses excellent foresight

Commitment to community building

Commitment to growth and emancipation

Icons: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, Herb Kellher (co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines)

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