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Most works about leadership styles assume that how people function as leaders is determined by fixed elements of their personalities. "Leadership That Gets Results" by Daniel Goleman makes the surprising or striking claim that leadership style is not a fixed element of personality, but rather a choice, or rhetorical device, which should be deployed in response to specific business situations. His central point is that leaders should choose different styles of leadership in response to different business situations rather than using a single style without regard to circumstances.
The body of the article covers the strengths and weakness of different styles of leadership. For example, the coercive style is useful in emergencies such as natural disasters or in business turnarounds, where acting quickly and decisively is crucial to success, but should not be used in normal business situations as it has a negative impact on morale and employee motivation. The affiliative style is useful for building team harmony and making employees feel valued, but it can sometimes leave employees without a clear sense of purpose. The pacesetting style works well with highly motivated and skilled employees in environments such as technology startups, but works less well with a more diverse group of employees.
The main takeaway from the article is that leaders should learn a variety of different leadership styles and use them flexibly in response to different situations.
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