Leadership Styles: Definition and Comparison


The success of a company mostly hinges on the choice of a leadership strategy. Therefore, it is imperative to come up with the leadership style that matches the organizational environment and allows meeting the employees’ needs. Because of the inconsistent leadership framework adopted at CMA, there is a significant lack of control over the employee engagement levels, causing an increase in staff turnover and hampering the company’s progress. A combination of transformational and visionary leadership styles should be viewed as the solution to the issues that the organization is currently facing. Thus, it will be possible to meet the needs of the employees and keep their motivation levels high (Opoku & Ahmed, 2015).

Background Scenario

As the case study shows, the lack of understanding of the staff’s needs can be viewed as the core problem of the organization. The leaders at CMA seem to have no idea of how to cater to the needs of the staff, and neither can they choose the appropriate strategy for promoting the corporate vision and values. There is also the need to retain the employees and reduce the turnover rates. For this purpose, motivation techniques must be used. Apart from providing the target population with benefits and incentives, CMA should consider the use of transformational and visionary leadership styles as the means of improving the motivation rates in the company. Additionally, the transactional and charismatic leadership styles should be viewed as a possibility (Star, 2015).

Visionary and Charismatic Leadership Styles: Definition

The visionary leadership approach implies that one should introduce a corporate philosophy in accordance with which the decision-making process will be carried out. The leader inspires the staff members and shows them how their performance can contribute to the vision of the organization. Therefore, the framework can be used to alter the staff’s attitude toward work and increase their engagement levels.

The use of the charismatic leadership approach may also be considered as a means of boosting the employees’ motivation levels. The identified framework suggests that the leader should motivate the employees by using the power of the personality (Spencer, 2014).

Transformational and Transactional Leadership Styles: Definition

The transformational approach suggests that a change in the staff’s behavior must occur so that the employees’ performance could be improved. Therefore, change is promoted actively.

The transactional strategy, in its turn, can be viewed as an extended management strategy. It addresses managerial issues to a greater degree than the ones associated with the promotion of vision, organizational values, and corporate philosophy. In other words, it has more to do with management than with inspiring a team to attain a specific goal (Jex & Britt, 2014).

Leadership Styles: Comparison (Focus and Philosophy)

The transformational approach implies that a focus on the present-day issues should be kept, whereas the visionary leadership approach suggests that the leader should consider the future changes as well. Unlike any of the four frameworks, the transactional one requires that the main emphasis should be placed on the management-associated processes. The charismatic leadership, in its turn, requires that the significance of corporate values and the personality of the leader should be recognized.

Therefore, the philosophy of the visionary leadership implies inspiration, the one of the charismatic style concerns inspiring passion, philosophical tenets of the transformational style includes a continuous change, and the ones of the transactional style incorporate the concept of management (Humphries & Gibbs, 2014).

Leadership Styles: Comparison (Strengths and Weaknesses)

While the visionary leadership strategy helps one draw plans, it may also set expectations far too high. The charismatic leadership provides a positive role model, yet it makes the staff too dependent on the leader. The transformational approach increases engagement levels but often fails to sustain them. The transactional model allows introducing orderliness into the organization but makes the environment very rigid (Rhoads, 2014).


Humphries, A., & Gibbs, L. (2014). Enterprise relationship management: A paradigm for alliance success. Burlington, VT: Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Jex, S. M., & Britt, Y. W. (2014). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

Opoku, A., & Ahmed, V. (2015). Leadership and sustainability in the built environment. New York, NY: Routledge.

Rhoads, C. J. (2014). The entrepreneur’s guide to running a business: Strategy and leadership. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Spencer, A. (2014). The leadership imperative: Technology adoption and strategic management in travel firms in Jamaica. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Star, L. (2015). Your power pivot: Shifting the paradigm of work/life empowerment. Carlsbad, CA: Motivational Press.

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