Know Thy Leadership Style

Johnson, Leibowitz, and Perret (2017) identify four leadership styles that have a positive effect in their collaborative book: The Coach Approach to School Leadership.

The Coach Apporach

Leadership is all about building and nurturing relationships and adopting an effective leadership style requires “tremendous emotional intelligence.” (Johnson et al, 2017). The four leadership styles that the authors identify as having a positive effect include:

  • authoritative – leader has a developed vision and wants others to follow suit in their own individual manners; beneficial for schools that need a clear direction; not as effective when the leader has less educational experience than the staff
  • affiliative – leaders put people first and want to be well-liked; great at building camaraderie and improving staff morale; weaker performance may go uncorrected and staff members may be unclear on full vision of school
  • democratic – gives everyone a voice, but school climate and morale tend to be lower when this is the primary approach; often involves endless meetings or open-ended conversation starters that leave staff feeling leaderless and unsure of organizational focus
  • coaching – focus on reflection and self-improvement; growth mindset

Leadership Style                         Reflective Questions

authoritative                                 How do I model being a risk taker and learner?

affiliative                                       How do I use praise and build on strengths?

democratic                                    Have I allowed for voice and choice in the school?

coaching                                        What type of coaching conversations have I had recently?


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