6 Models of Leadership According to Daniel Goleman

Goleman and his collaborators establish several types of leadership in the book “Primal Leadership”.


According to Daniel Goleman, who in addition to being a psychologist, is also a writer of various books related to behavioral sciences and mental processes, there are several leadership models plicable to human beings.

In particular, these models of leadership according to Goleman are expressed in his book Primal Leadership. In this article we will see what each of them consists of, so that the reader can know them and also specify which one is more identified.

What is leadership?

Leadership capacity basically focuses on being able to transmit to other people a level of influence significant enough so that they can achieve objectives and goals under the tutelage of the person who acts as a leader.

There are certain types of leadership that are commonly known, and all revolve around conventional concepts and are commonly associated with teamwork processes (autocratic, transformational, participatory, bureaucratic, charismatic and natural).

The psychologist Daniel Goleman has developed 6 models of leadership, apart from those already existing and conventional, that expands our conception of what it means to be a leader.

The 6 leadership models proposed by Goleman

Below we will see what are the leadership models according to Goleman and his collaborators Richard Boyatzis and An Mckee, and some of the most representative characteristics of each one of them.

1. The visionary leader

In this first mode of leadership Goleman states that to motivate a group of people to perform tasks with a higher level of motivation and personal, the ideal is to share with them the final idea without indicating the process of reaching it. Thus, each of them will have the opportunity to explore what are the best ways to transcend to reach the final objectives, and will be motivated in the process.

It is not a highly recommended method when it comes to motivating experts in an area of ​​your knowledge.

2. The personal trainer

This form of leadership is based on the fact that the leader will attend each of the participants individually, actively listening to their ideas and their purposes within the project.

This type of leadership contributes greatly to the personal growth of each of the participants of the company, bearing in mind that by being attended individually the leader also has the opportunity to motivate them in terms of their aspirations at their own level.

3. Affiliated leader

This type of leaders are responsible for creating meaningful connections between all members of the company with the intention that they can understand each other more adequately and achieve the objectives with a higher level of productivity.

The main idea of ​​this type of leadership is to reduce the stress levels that personal quarrels can generate within the work environment; If all the workers manage to connect in a more harmonious way, then a better level of efficiency will be reached. This is one of the types of leadership proposed by Goleman that create greater personal involvement.

4. Democratic leader

The democratic leader attends to all the ideas and opinions of his group in an egalitarian manner, giving each staff participation the same importance at the beginning. It is a very advisable method when the first contact is made with a group of people to undertake a project.

The leader who uses this method encourages everyone to participate in an active and equal way, making them feel that nobody is above anyone and that all their ideas and their abilities are taken into account for the realization of the project in question.

5. The controlling leader

The controlling leader is responsible for setting out the objectives to be carried out in a fairly clear manner, without giving rise to the participation of the staff members; In addition, he usually places himself as an example as to the way of doing things.

Leaders who choose this modality as their flag usually tend to achieve good results in the short term, but as time progresses the staff is usually discouraged and do not perform in the best way under this leadership style.

6. Authoritative leader

This modality focuses on giving precise instructions that must be strictly complied with, without the opportunity to participate in the methods that will be used for the execution process.

This type of leadership established by Goleman is beneficial to transmit security to the team, and it is a good way to calm the fears of less experienced members, as they see in their leader a person with enough knowledge to take them to success.

This modality is particularly effective at times when it is necessary to take quick action to achieve the objectives. In times of crisis in which the previous alternatives have been exhausted is when this type of leadership is usually used.