To make sense of leadership, experts come up with models. A leadership model is like a container that gurus used to explain abstract concepts like leadership, passion, and values. A model can be a system or a figure drawn to represent an idea. Leadership experts often come up with models that are often similar but sometimes contradictory to each other.
Leadership is fluid and the only way to manage and measure it is through a container, which is the model. 5
Often, companies design development programs based on these models. Coming up with a training program when one starts with a framework.
But don’t be confused by these models. There is no single way of describing leadership. There is no single formula for becoming good leaders.
I consider many of these models as reports. The so-called experts are often not great leaders themselves.
Confucius is a prime example. They observe leaders and report their findings. Then, they coined new terms to explain their models.
And some come up first with leadership models, then look for “great” leaders to support their arguments.
This is why you can find books like ” Lead Like Jesus”. You can replace Jesus with Gandhi, Kublai Khan, Moses, Putin, and Duterte.
Sergio Caredda, as of now, has listed 120 leadership models.6 And there are many more. As long as experts try to put leadership in a box, you can find more.
Caredda grouped these leadership models into these categories:
- Theoretical Models of Leadership
- Competency-Based Leadership Models
- Values-Based Leadership Models
- Effectiveness Leadership Models
- Leadership as Purpose Models
- Application Leadership Models
At first, it is good to start with a model that makes sense to you. Then, learn from your experience. What is important is that you understand that there is no single way — and you can design your own learning experience.