Leadership Styles

Leadership Styles

Leadership styles usually are discussed in terms of skills (envisioning, enabling), personal traits (integrity, will), or types (pragmatist, diplomat). But leaders who encounter others from abroad must become familiar with cultural variations in the meaning of EFFECTIVE leadership styles.

Leaders are effective because they embody qualities that their subordinates admire and expect in leaders. These days, subordinates and colleagues come from many world regions, and some are based IN distant regions. This is why GLOBAL leadership development should not emphasize leadership styles. Rather, it should address the expectations about leadership held by the actual people with whom the leader is, or will be, working.

The Learn More button to the right speeds your inquiry to GROVEWELL managing partner Cornelius Grove. Or phone him at +1.718.492.1896 in New York City. Or explore your options by clicking one of the subheads to the right.


Numerous studies of business leadership were carried out during the 20th century. Their findings proved useful, informing managers and executives about the competencies and personal characteristics of effective leaders, about the critical role of emotional intelligence, and about the importance of matching one’s style to the local context. Useful distinctions emerged, such as that, depending on the context, an effective style could be “goal-oriented,” “involving,” or “engaging.”

Unfortunately, the vast majority of those studies were thoroughly Western: the researchers, the businesses and individuals studied, the concepts applied, and the audience for the findings were almost all American or Western European.

This myopia is now being corrected, thanks largely to the GLOBE Project, which is reviewed here on this website. Directed from the Wharton Business School, and involving research teams in 62 nations over 11 years, GLOBE’s objective was to determine “the extent to which the practices and values of business leadership are universal [or] specific to just a few societies.”


One of GLOBE’s many findings highlights variations around the world in how subordinates view leaders. Of the many personal attributes that can characterize business leaders, 35 are viewed in some societies as positive, while in other societies the same ones are viewed as negative. Among those 35 are “cunning,” “provocateur,” and “sensitive.”

On the other hand, GLOBE also revealed that in the great majority of the 61 societies studied, one approach to business leadership actually is viewed as highly effective.

If your interest isn’t merely in your "style" of leading, but extends to developing your capacity for leading in ways that will be effective with the internationally diverse groups you lead, then consider GROVEWELL as your global leadership development provider. Our mission is to enable global business leaders to develop a repertoire of styles that will lead to…

  • Consistent on-the-job goal attainment
  • More versatile performance repertoire
  • Enhanced global leadership competency
  • Better relationships with diverse colleagues
  • Self-correcting behavior in new environments
  • More effective, faster transitions into new environments
  • Capacity for intentionally sophisticated leadership worldwide


Learn more about our GLOBAL LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS course by clicking here.
It's GROVEWELL's ready-to-deliver, 2- or 3-day, introductory course for leaders with little global experience.