Our leadership style has a profound impact on our ability to build our brands, generate revenue and have satisfying careers. In my travels as a executive leadership strategist coaching executives and business owners I found an excellent study on how our leadership style impacts the organizational climate. This work makes academic concepts easy to understand and apply in everyday life.
This is my synopsis of the main ideas reported by researcher Daniel Goleman’s Harvard Business Review article identifying identified six distinct leadership styles and the correlation to organizational climate as an indicator of performance. 
As you’ve read these descriptions you’ve probably been thinking about which style you are, or perhaps the style used by others in your organization. You may even have thought that you use a variety or combination of these styles in your day to day leadership. And you would be right. Different situations require different styles of leadership – and the best leaders understand when and how to use each style. Yet even the best leaders have a “default” preference – it is the style they revert to when under pressure and the one they are most comfortable with.
You might expect, the coercive style has the most negative impact on climate. What I didn’t expect was that the pacesetting style is a close second to coercive for the most negative impact on climate. The two most positive correlations were authoritative and affiliative, while democratic and coaching were at the mid-point.
The message here is that we, as leaders, must be conscious of the leadership styles we apply to any given situation. We must be mindful of our default style and over-using any one style with a given team or situation. And we must recognize that our own perception of our style may not match the perception of those we lead. Finally, remember that as leaders we are learners – and there is always room for improvement.
To learn more about the study and read Daniel Goleman’s article visit www.hbr.org and search for “Leadership That Gets Results”. From there you will find a link to read the article or buy reprints for a nominal charge – it is well worth the investment in becoming a better leader.
 Goleman, D. Leadership That Gets Results. Harvard Business Review; March-April 2000