Leadership Styles

Success in any organization will depend on how well you match your approach and style to your organization’s environment and people. One leadership style doesn’t fit all. In fact, a study by Harvard and GE confirmed that negative things can happen due to a mismatch in style.
Appropriate leadership style and tools will depend on where your organization’s team fits in relation to the four quatrains of the Agreement Matrix:


When a consensus on objectives exists, the organization needs someone out front leading the charge. The key here is pushing activity— “Let’s get done!”

In those situations where no consensus exists, various factions within the organization are often pulling in very different (sometimes opposite) directions. It takes power, command, and enforcement to realign the organization behind common objectives. This is the classic call for a leader who can say and back up the statement: “I don’t care if you agree or not, get on board, get out, or suffer the consequences.”

For those organizations where a consensus exists on both objective and the strategy for achieving it, management’s job is to reinforce the vision through the organization’s culture—folklore, rituals, tradition, planning, etc.

However, when there is agreement on the objective but weak or little consensus on how to achieve that goal, leadership must focus on training, standard procedures, measurement and rewards.

For more on “The Tools of Cooperation and Change” published in the Harvard Business Review, go to https://hbr.org/2006/10/the-tools-of-cooperation-and-change.

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