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Leadership Types and Necessary Skills

Leadership, both as a process or a skill, has numerous definitions that vary from one author to another, yet the essence stays the same. Northouse (2016) defines leadership as “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (p. 6). My definition of leadership is the following: it is an effort of a person or a small group in promoting the cooperation of a larger group.

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The necessary skills for a leader vary slightly depending on the chosen type of leadership, the task that is needed to be accomplished, and the people that are being led by a leader. The essential skills are short- and long-term planning, which can be described as an ability to conceptualize what needs to be done to achieve the goal and make decisions on the fly. It is also vital to have high social skills, such as the ability to take other peoples’ perspectives, as well as the ability to motivate and persuade them to follow one’s vision. It might also be highly beneficial for a leader to have substantial knowledge of the subject his or her team is working on. Leaders often possess specific personality traits that make them more suitable for this position. They are often highly self-aware and emotionally intelligent, empathetic, and charismatic.

The types of leadership include supporting, delegating, directing, and coaching leadership. Their variety is based on a multitude of factors, such as orientation on the result or on relationships, the personality of a leader, the organizational structure, and other variables (Northouse, 2016). The primary two variables are the amount of control in the leader’s hands and the amount of support he or she gives. I believe that supporting and transformational leadership is the best type because it promotes personal and professional growth.


Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). SAGE Publications.

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