Leadership | Coaching

Let’s Talk Leadership and Coaching

What do you think of when I say Leadership and Coaching? If you close your eyes and visualize the idea of Leadership and Coaching the natural inclination is to think of one of two examples. 

The first being a pre 1980’s autocratic heirarchy, where the leader or coach stands elevated above all. This scenario is an edict driven model that features leaders who are driven by a sense of providence and power.  By virtue of their position and job responsibilities, they not only control the efforts of the team, but monitor them for completion –often under close scrutiny. They micromanage and stand ready to point out failings. 

Do not confuse autocratic leadership with assertive leadership. At the end of the day, someone has to make a decision. How that decision comes to pass is connected to the type of leadership that is in place. 

The second thought you may have experience features a leader or coach who stands equal with all on the team and plays host to an open forum of collaborative idea sharing in a bid to plot efficient solutions. This open leadership concept triggers a discovery of team member individual strengths. The shift from the autocratic to the authoritarian approach to leadership personalizes the entire experience which organically increases the shared connections between team members regardless of their title and role. 


Participative Leadership (also known as democratic leadership) is a participative approach that blends laissez-faire and autocratic leadership to find a middle ground.  The participative leader actively encourages participation from employees in decision-making, but then makes the final decision for the group.  The benefits here are improved employee morale as they feel valued and respected.  Here, all members of the team bring many more creative ideas to the table.  This leadership style, however, does not work so well in those instances when decisions must be made rapidly as the participation process can take some time to sort through.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership incorporates rewards and punishments in exchange for employee performance.  The leader and employee will agree on goals and pre-determined standards to meet those goals.  In this style, the leader provides direction and oversight and then reviews the employee’s performance in meeting their goals.  Employees are rewarded for meeting or exceeding the goals (i.e. with bonuses) or punished if they fail to meet their goals.  This style of leadership is typically more passive and does not encourage out-of-the-box thinking.


Transformational leaders create a vision for their employees and communicate it often.  These leaders identify the need for change and then become that agent for change through inspiration and motivation.  This leadership style will typically improve employee morale and promote inclusion within the group.  The transformational leader is a role model for their employees and strives to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to enable them to be their best.  In contrast to transactional leadership that maintains the status quo, transformational leaders inspire their employees to change in order to meet the strategic goals of the organization.