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Leadership Theories Chart. Breakthrough Leadership

Leadership Theory Definition Main Concepts
Situational leadership A leadership theory that merges both directive and supportive dimensions, which need to be applied correctly in a given situation (Ghazzawi, Shoughari, & Osta, 2017).
  • Situational leadership is based on the relation between the task behavior, listening, support, and value.
  • It claims that there is no single right way to lead.
  • It considers both individual and organizational needs (Walls, 2019).
Transformational leadership A leadership theory where a leader encourages, inspires, and motivates employees to participate in the transformation process of the organization (Milanov, 2018)
  • Transformational leaders aim to transform others.
  • The main focus is on long-term goals.
  • The four main components are ideal influence, inspiring motivation, mental persuasion, and personal consideration (Chow, Salleh, & Ismail, 2017).
Transactional leadership A leadership theory where leaders focus on gaining compliance by giving and withholding rewards and benefits (Lee, 2020).
  • Transactional leadership Is defined by control, organization, and short-term planning (Lee, 2020).
  • Rewards and punishment are believed to be motivating for followers.
  • Adhering to leaders’ instructions is the primary goal of followers.
  • Followers have to be monitored to ensure that performance standards are met (Lee, 2020).
Breakthrough leadership A leadership theory where leaders use the openings created by extraordinary events to explore new possibilities for their organization (Baker, n.d.)
  • Breakthrough leadership is founded on systematic, disciplinary understanding.
  • Breakthrough leaders lead individuals, not companies.
  • They act as leaders, managers, and coaches (Sayle & Kumar, 2019).


Baker, W. (n.d.). Breakthrough leadership. Web.

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Chow, T. W., Salleh, L. M., & Ismail, I. A. (2017). Lessons from the major leadership theories in comparison to the competency theory for leadership practice. Journal of Business and Social Review in Emerging Economies, 3(2), 147-156. Web.

Ghazzawi, K., Shoughari, R. E., & Osta, B. (2017). Situational leadership and its effectiveness in rising employee productivity: A study on North Lebanon Organization. Human Resource Management Research, 7(3), 102-110.

Lee, S. (2020). What is transactional leadership? Web.

Milanov, V. (2018). Overview and analysis of the main leadership concepts, defining the modern management of the business organizations. Information Models and Analyses, 7(1), 20-26.

Sayle, B., & Kumar, S. (2019). The five skills of a breakthrough leader. Web.

Walls, E. (2019). The value of situational leadership. Community Practitioner, 92(2), 31-33.

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