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  • Writer's pictureCécile Hemery

Figuring Out Your Leadership Style: How to Leverage Your Strengths and Lead with Confidence

A young black woman is looking towards us and is standing confidently in a meeting room. We can see co-workers in the background talking and sitting at a table in the meeting room

As a leader, you may often find yourself questioning your own abilities and effectiveness. Am I doing a good job? Do I have what it takes to inspire and guide my team? It's common to feel like you need to fit a certain mould or live up to specific expectations to be seen as a successful leader. However, the truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership. Each individual brings a unique set of strengths, experiences, and natural tendencies that shape their leadership style.

Many leaders struggle with self-doubt and the pressure to pretend to be someone they're not in the workplace. You might find yourself wondering, "How can I gain confidence and stay true to myself, rather than feeling like I have to put on a persona at work?" or "Why am I not doing as well as a leader as I thought I should?" These doubts and questions are normal, but they can hold you back from reaching your full potential as a leader.

The key to overcoming these challenges is to recognise and embrace your inherent leadership qualities. By understanding your natural leadership style, you can learn to leverage your strengths and lead with authenticity and confidence. When you stop trying to scatter yourself in every direction or focus on areas where you're not at your best, you can instead channel your energy into what you naturally excel at.

In this article, we'll explore four distinct leadership profiles: the Visionary, the Servant, the Transformational, and the Authentic leader. By gaining insight into these archetypes and their characteristics, you can identify which style aligns most closely with your own tendencies and learn how to harness your unique qualities to become a more effective and impactful leader.

The Visionary Leader

Visionary leaders are known for their ability to paint a compelling picture of the future and inspire others to work towards a common goal. They are creative, innovative, and always looking for new ways to push boundaries. If you find yourself naturally drawn to big-picture thinking and have a knack for anticipating future challenges and opportunities, you may have strong visionary leadership qualities.

Some key characteristics of visionary leaders include:

  • Ability to articulate a clear and inspiring vision

  • Comfort with taking calculated risks to achieve goals

  • Forward-thinking mindset, always seeking ways to innovate and improve

As a visionary leader, you focus on the long-term direction of your organisation and serve as the primary source of ideas and inspiration for change. You rely on your charisma and persuasive communication skills to rally others around your vision. While you value relationships, your primary focus is on the strategic direction and future of your organisation.

The Servant Leader

Servant leaders prioritise the needs and well-being of their team members above their own. They focus on empowering and supporting others, helping them reach their full potential. If you naturally prioritise the growth and success of your team and find fulfilment in helping others succeed, servant leadership may be your innate leadership style.

Key traits of servant leaders include:

  • Putting the needs of others first

  • Creating a supportive and empowering environment

  • Excellent listening skills and empathy

  • Leading by example and modelling desired behaviours

As a servant leader, you create a positive and productive work environment that brings out the best in your team members. Your empathy, focus on growth and development, and willingness to lead by example inspire trust and respect from your team. However, you may sometimes struggle with tough decisions that could negatively impact team members or find yourself overemphasising consensus at the expense of decisive action.

The Transformational Leader

Transformational leaders are catalysts for change, inspiring their teams to achieve beyond what they thought possible. They create a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement. If you thrive in dynamic environments, enjoy inspiring others to push boundaries, and have a natural ability to drive change, transformational leadership may be your default style.

Common characteristics of transformational leaders include:

  • Ability to inspire and motivate others to embrace change

  • Comfort with challenging the status quo and taking risks

  • Strong communication skills to articulate a compelling vision

  • Fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration

As a transformational leader, you focus on the process of change and empowering others to become change agents themselves. You build strong, collaborative relationships and adapt your communication style to understand the needs and concerns of your team members. While you excel at driving innovation and continuous improvement, you may sometimes push for change too quickly, leading to burnout or resistance.

The Authentic Leader

Authentic leaders are true to themselves and lead with integrity, transparency, and genuine passion for their work. They build trust by being honest, consistent, and open about their values and beliefs. If you value integrity, transparency, and staying true to your core values, even in challenging situations, authentic leadership may come naturally to you.

Key traits of authentic leaders include:

  • High level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence

  • Consistency between words and actions

  • Transparency and openness in communication

  • Willingness to admit mistakes and learn from them

As an authentic leader, you have a deep understanding of your own values, strengths, and weaknesses. You lead with integrity and are consistent in your behaviour and actions. Your openness to feedback and willingness to admit mistakes build trust with your team members. However, you may sometimes struggle to adapt your leadership style to different situations or be perceived as inflexible.

Embracing Your Own Leadership Style

It's important to remember that these leadership profiles are not mutually exclusive. Most leaders possess qualities from multiple archetypes, and the key is to understand and leverage your unique blend of strengths. By taking the time to reflect on your natural leadership tendencies, you can gain valuable insights into your own style and identify areas for growth and development.

If you're ready to discover your dominant leadership profile and gain insights into your leadership strengths, we invite you to take our Leadership Style Quiz. This powerful tool will help you uncover your natural leadership tendencies and provide guidance on how to harness your unique qualities to become the best leader you can be.

Through this journey of self-discovery, you'll learn to embrace your authentic leadership style and lead with confidence. You'll find that you don't need to pretend to be someone you're not or scatter yourself in every direction to be an effective leader. Instead, by focusing on your strengths and staying true to yourself, you can inspire and motivate your team to achieve great things.

As you gain clarity on your leadership style, you'll also find that you're not alone in your doubts and challenges. Many leaders face similar struggles, and by connecting with others who understand your experiences, you can find support, guidance, and inspiration to continue growing and developing as a leader.

So, don't wait to start your journey of self-discovery and growth. With insights into your own genuine strengths and approach, you'll be better equipped to navigate your path to success, make a lasting impact on those you lead, and ultimately, be recognised as the strong, capable leader you truly are.

The same woman as in the picture above is next to a text saying "What's your natural leadership approach" and inviting readers to take the leadership profile quiz to find out.

>> Access the Leadership Profile quiz here:


Cecile Hemery is a certified Career and Executive Coach, and founder of Walayance, specialising in helping quiet leaders navigate professional crossroads and find meaning, impact, drive and recognition in their work. Schedule an exploratory chat with Cecile.


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