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In this classical style of leadership, the final say rests with the leader, who is the sole decision maker. In this style of leadership, the team is allowed to provide inputs and present their perspectives. In this style of leadership, the boss holds the authority to transfer his power of decision to his subordinate. In this style of leadership, the tasks are performed based on certain policies and standards. This style of leadership involves leaders who motivate and inspire their team members in very positive way. A leader leads his followers by taking proper decisions and realizes the fact that he holds to himself a position of great responsibility.
As the administrative tasks of managers have become more automated, leadership has grown in popularity as a topic. The essence of a thing, to the extent that we do understand it, can be captured in a definition. This style, often associated with the military but also common in industry, emphasizes a strict chain of command with hierarchies of goals and limited autonomy. The basic premise for servant leadership is that the leader is there to serve his or her people. The business literature and the press is full of stories of celebrity CEOs who can move followers through their own force of personality, intellect and credibility.
There are plenty of examples of leaders who don’t have an outsized personality and who are still effective in meeting organizational goals and motivating their people. When a significant external opportunity presents itself or is developed, some leaders are able to develop a vision which is a significant break from the past.
In this leadership style, there is an emphasis on involving followers both in vision formulation and in decision-making in general. Transformational leadership is employed by leaders who seek to create value by transforming the organization and quite often themselves and their own people in the process.
When an organization is not changing much and where the focus of action is invariably short-term, leaders tend to focus on day-to-day tasks almost exclusively. This school of thought holds that leaders should not tied to a single style, but instead try to acquire a portfolio of leadership skills and then change styles as the situation changes. To better be able to compare and contrast leadership styles, we must identify their key distinguishing characteristics. Each of these attributes can be given a score, via self-assessment or via outside feedback. Organizations that focus on systematic learning as a means to creating value we refer to as Learning Organizations. Lean Leaders focus on developing people as innovators and problem-solvers so that they in turn can work to transform the organization in pursuit of a long-term vision. Lean Leadership entails broad knowledge and decision-rights, although leaders are responsible for the final decisions being made. The illustration below shows the contrast between Lean Leadership and Command-and-Control Leadership. Although Lean Leadership does focus on helping subordinates become more effective, it is not Servant Leadership.
Delegation constraints – if roles and responsibilities are predetermined, this will make it harder to grant decision rights as freely as you would like. Evidence blindness – you can instill a respect for the facts in your own people, but if your boss(es) won’t listen to facts alone, you have to get clever about how you tell the story to them in a way that tie facts to their own goals and agendas. Sometimes Lean Leadership really is not appropriate because of the organization’s situation or lifecycle stage.
When you face constraints imposed by your boss or the organization, the leadership style model can function as a way to capture agreements, disagreements and areas where you lack clarity.
We have also included the video recording of a talk I gave at the LKNA conference in San Francisco in May 2014. Tesco’s leadership framework sets out not just the skills and competencies but also the personal characteristics and behaviours it expects of its leaders.
Subscribe to our newsletter for current business news including lesson plans and activity ideas. If you learnt more about Developing appropriate leadership styles from this Tesco case study, why not share it with others? This page and contents, ©2016 Business Case Studies, is intended to be viewed online and may not be printed. Hence, any leader resorting to this style should be rock-steady and sharp with a stable head on his shoulder to lead his people or organization towards excellence.



In a certain way, this style of leadership could be dangerous, as one might misuse the power or negligibly guide others down the wrong trajectory. If a particular solution is not mentioned in the procedure, then the issue or the task is taken over to the next level. This act of the boss drives the employers to move forward and provides a great source of confidence.
The style of leadership that a leader might undertake may vary from person to person, but their ultimate goal of acquiring the defined success remains the same. A definition should set it apart from and also make clear its essential relationships to other things.
Leadership, then, is a type of ongoing activity, but it is an activity with an overarching purpose – to cause others to act in the pursuit of a joint value or set of values. Leadership is also a relational concept – without followers, there cannot be a leader. Here we do not simply refer to personal style or personality type, but to a broader set of approaches and attributes  which we will discuss below. Professional growth may or may not be part of the equation, depending on the goals of the organization. In formulating a vision, the leader seeks participation and approval from them and the main approach to pursuing the vision lies in removing obstacles and helping followers be successful. Some even make a point of not having their “ego” get in the way on the facts, instead preferring to remain in the background.
Visionary leaders disrupt or even create whole industries, and they are able to rely on the power of the vision itself to persuade others to follow. The leader grants a fair amount of autonomy and seeks to reach decisions through consensus where possible.
The style places great emphasis on autonomy and continuous learning for everyone, though it is a means to an end – achieving the transformation. A fast food restaurant would be a good example, but we also see this leadership style in organizations where sections are relatively isolated and change slowly. In practice leaders do behave differently under different circumstances, and many will exhibit a blend of two or more of these styles. The leader still is responsible for the overall direction and subordinates are helped (developed) so they can more easily help themselves. If you are not the CEO, you may very well face obstacles and constraints that will prevent you from fully practicing Lean Leadership. In an early-stage startup, the organizational goals are short-term and what really matters is meeting them so one can get more funding and more customers and get a chance to learn more. You will be able to have a more detailed discussion about the pros and cons of changing leadership styles. When the actual leadership behaviors deviate significantly from the ideal, this can be recognized and the model can be employed as a coaching tool. The relationships between traits (such as being energetic), leadership styles and leadership effectiveness have already been subject to some research.
It includes the material on leadership styles as well as a discussion of leadership capital, the amount of confidence leaders enjoy. One of the key challenges of Berian’s job is to ensure his team produces the right products to meet demand at key times.
Tesco looks for managers who are positive, confident and genuine, with the capacity to inspire and encourage their teams. The autocratic style of leadership is usually considered as the the original style of management. At the same time, this procedure is quite positive too, as it helps boost the confidence of the workers and improves boss-worker relationship too. This direction of leadership would do well if the employers are engaged in the same job as a routine. Ever since the Bronze Age, humans have told tales, often tall tales, about great leaders and leaders who have failed. A proper definition must be based on prior observation and experience, it is not arbitrary. Military organizations often do better with professional growth than civilization organizations, since most of their time is spent practicing instead of fighting actual wars.
An organization that is being sold or shut down is also not a good candidate for Lean Leadership.
You can use the model presented here to capture current and future states and maintain a journal over time to see where you struggle. However, we would like to gather more data here using the more detailed leadership styles model in the Lean Systems Framework.


We discuss how leadership capital can be decomposed into perceived character and perceived effectiveness, how these can be quantified, and how leadership capital is utilized, gained and lost. The manager then needs to communicate this approach clearly to his or her team and to allocate tasks to each team member. Team leaders will set the objectives but empower team members to decide how these objectives are achieved. His usual management approach is to allow the team to take responsibility for achieving the desired result. A key part of Tesco’s programme for building leaders is encouraging self review and reflection.
When you realize the right context of leadership, you will know that leaders are not heroes who are here to save the day. This style of management calls for the leader to make important, practicable decisions and assign tasks to the corresponding sub-ordinates according to their endowments. For this reason, democratic style of leadership is often called as participative style too.
Also, this is the best procedure adopted when the employers have to understand certain policies in depth. The risk related to this style is that once the leader leaves the organization or the project, it intensely affects the existence of the organization. But stories are not enough. If we are to properly understand a thing, as Aristotle would tell us, we must seek to identify and understand its essence. It is also worth mentioning that autonomy varies quite a bit and in some situations can be substantial.
This allows staff to assess their strengths and find ways of demonstrating the characteristics that are vital to the long-term development of the business.
Though the boss and his subordinates sit together and discuss the possible options and procedures, it’s always the boss who makes the final call.
It is also practicable when the employers are working on equipment that is dangerous or delicate and also during the times when you have to correctly follow the defined set of tasks to operate it. Command-and-control is the original and default leadership style since the Neolithic revolution. It is about coaching and developing people, treating them with respect but challenging them. However, other factors will also have an influence on whether the target is achieved, including the task in hand, the skills of the team and the style of leadership. It helps to motivate individuals in the team and it draws on the expertise of the members of the team.
For example, when the bakery expanded its product range and Berian needed to ensure that all the products would be on the shelves by 8.00 am, rather than enforce a solution, he turned to the team for ideas.
However, he ensures that his decision benefits his people and the organization and is in complete sync with others.
This style is criticized for being too rigid where the employees are not allowed to think out of the box. Leaders seek to create strong teams, with people committed to the organisation’s overall goals. The team solved the problem by agreeing to split break times so that productivity could be maintained. While some leaders can be outspoken and look and act tough, there are a few others who might believe in giving complete freedom to others.
This is mainly because the employees are never acknowledged entirely for their efforts and least preference is given to the input from the employer’s behalf.
Remember, a good leadership is a blend of autocratic, democratic and free reign, and is not just about one single style or school of thought. Whether you choose to follow the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King is clearly your choice. Rather, one should resort to the various styles depending on the situation, the specific requisites of the people involved and the challenges faced by the organization.



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