Leadership Style as an Outcome of Motive: A Contingency ‘State’ Rather Than ‘Trait’ Concept

  • Bruce E. Winston
Part of the Christian Faith Perspectives in Leadership and Business book series (CFPLB)


This conceptual article proposes that we may more fully understand leaders’ selection of leadership style at any given leader–follower interaction through the use of four motives: (a) the ‘me’ motive calls for the use of the charismatic leadership style; (b) the ‘we’ motive calls for the use of the transformational leadership style; (c) the ‘thee’ motive calls for the use of the servant leadership style; and (d) the ‘it’ motive calls for the use of the transactional leadership style. This conceptual article argues that for the leader–follower interaction to be most effective the leader should disclose the motive to the follower since many of the leader behaviors are common across the four leadership styles. The article argues that if leadership development programs teach leaders to recognize the motives and to disclose the motives the overall leader–follower relationship will be more effective.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Regent UniversityChesapeakeUSA

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