The basic function of leadership is: Provide employees with support and orientation . 

This article uses various examples to show that it is always about providing support and orientation. There are many different ways to do this. All have advantages and disadvantages. All management approaches can be characterised by how they provide support and orientation. There is no such thing as the "best" type of leadership (especially not in absolute terms) - there is indeed effective leadership depending on the situation. Leadership is effective when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

The Leadnow Navigator shows how leadership affects employees. Effective guidance is in the centre band, between L and D. This is where the optimum pressureis. This arises when the goal is clear (orientation) and when it is perceived as motivating, challenging but achievable. 

Orientation is created by focussing on the goal (with the "L"): This is about having clear goals.

Support is created through people-orientation (at "D"): This is about building a good relationship with your goals. Am I doing this for myself, for the money, for the company? Can I make it? What if not? 

All leadership styles can be put into a simple order: How is support and orientation generated?


Orientation through targets
Stop is a private matter

Holding on by struggling for goals
Orientation is created together


- fast (efficient)
- precise
- little initial effort

- effective
- resilient
- strengthens identification


- fragile
- not conducive to identification

- High initial outlay
- has momentum of its own

Example of leadership styles

Management style

Support and orientation through:

Management style

Support and orientation through:






The patron as a total work of art (L'état c'est moi)


Common rules


Processes, specifications, rules


Common rules


Processes, specifications, rules


Common rules


Specified goals


Values, visions and co.

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Max Weber described the four leadership styles: autocratic, patriarchal, bureaucratic and charismatic


Kurt Lewin describes complementary, partly overlapping: authoritarian, co-operative, laissez-faire