Methods of Leadership

Methods of Leadership

Methods of Leadership

The table below contains a description of the leadership methods:-

  • Authoritairan
  • Democratic
  • Laissez-faire
  • Bureaucratic
  • Transactional
  • Transformative
  • People centred
  • Task centred

On the following pages decide which description is relevant to each method, consider also the adjectives that describe the method, the main characteristics of the method, as well as two examples of it’s use within different Public Services.

The leader can relax or lessen his/her leadership and leave the skills and the decisions to the team. The leader relies on the team’s skills to make the right decision in any situation.
The task is the leader’s main focus. He/she concentrates on creating step by step schemes to ensure the task is completed correctly and the aims are met. There is less focus on the team’s interests and thought processes – the task is the priority.
The leader is enthusiastic, forward thinking and inspiring. He/she is able to change a team’s behaviour and attitude towards a particular task.
This method of leadership follows a clear and definitive set of rules that cannot be broken. Very often everyone is aware of the rules beforehand. The leader’s responsibility is to ensure the team implements the rules and steps set.
This leadership method is based on a series of rewards, praise and sanctions by the leader for good practice.
The leader is responsible for all decision making, the team is informed of the leader’s expectations, the nature of the task and how to handle it. There is no discussion, the leader assumes complete responsibility for all procedures.
A leader who focuses on the team’s development and well being. Priority is given to the team and its individual members.
In this method the leader is dependant on the team’s knowledge and observations in order to make the correct decision. They share information frequently to ensure the correct choices and decisions are made.

Watch a clip from a Welsh TV programme about the Police. (999 Y Glas). The extract shows Dyfed Powys Police on duty during a Premier League Football Match.

Alternately you could view a ‘Police Camera Action’ clip in English at:

As you watch the clip place a  in the boxes to record how many times, in your opinion, you observe the different leadership methods being used:-

People centred;
Task centreed

Discussion Task:

Class Discussion : Discuss your results.


  1. Did you observe more than one leadership method being used in any one particular situation?
  1. Why is it important for members of the Public Services to possess a variety of leadership methods that can be used in different situations?
  1. What makes a good leader? Refer to examples from the Public Services. Record your comments on the diagram on the next page.