10 Examples to Craft Your Leadership Philosophy: Definitions and Prompts

Editorial Team
12 Min Read

Leaders can guide an organisation most effectively when they have a clear understanding of their leadership philosophies and beliefs. Writing a personal leadership philosophy can help you gain clarity, direction, and purpose in your respective career. It’s helpful to review some leadership philosophies so that you can learn how to write one and what to include in this statement.

In this article, we discuss the definition of leadership philosophy and share 10 specific examples you can reference when creating your own.

What is a leadership philosophy?

A leadership philosophy is a statement that explains your perspective on leading and describes how you plan to apply that perspective to your organisation’s environment. Many MBA specialisation programs require students to write a teaching philosophy before graduation. It’s a way to organise your leadership process and approach to interact with one’s organisation, administrators, or the topic they are leading.

Besides, personal leadership philosophy differs from business leadership philosophy, and it changes as you learn and grow. Additionally, you may want to review your philosophy regularly and update it as you gain organisational and business leadership experience.

10 Famous Leadership Philosophies Examples to Look Out in 2024

Although there are several types of leadership philosophies, we have included the 10 most sought-after philosophies of the current era. However, your choice should be proportional to your unique leadership approach and code of ethics.

1. Democratic Leadership Philosophies

Similar to how it sounds, the democratic philosophy values the opinions of their constituents and makes sure that everyone’s opinions are heard and are being considered. Although the leader is assigned to make the final decision, input is taken from each individual, and every team member has the opportunity to give feedback and make effective decisions.

Example: Some well-known companies that use the Democratic leadership style include Google, Apple, and Southwest Airlines.

2. Autocratic Leadership Philosophies 

An autocratic leadership philosophy is one of the most important examples of leadership philosophy and is the opposite of autocratic leadership. In such practices, a leader takes complete control over decision-making. Additionally, in such cases, they are not allowed to consider other perspectives when making decisions and delegating responsibilities to direct reports.

Example: Some well-known companies that use the autocratic leadership style include Steve Jobs (Apple), Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company), and Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla).

3. Transactional Leadership Philosophies

A type of business leadership philosophy, transactional leadership, follows a result-driven approach. With this practice, a leader sets straightforward expectations for rewarding teams according to the results of their success. The major reasons to follow this kind of leadership are immediate tasks, routine processes, and efficiency.

Examples: Some well-known companies that use the autocratic leadership style include Hewlett-Packard, among others.

4. Deligative Leadership Philosophy

Similar to democratic leadership philosophy, delegation philosophy includes delegation and sharing responsibilities. As an example of leadership philosophy, it empowers every team member to take responsibility, which evolves a sense of anatomy.

Examples: Many start-up companies continue to follow a deliberative leadership philosophy for better outcomes

5. Managerial Leadership Philosophy

A type of personal leadership philosophy, managerial leadership, is a worthy practice to control the overall working of the organisation. With mixed leadership styles, like being inclusive and making deals for the future, this leadership philosophy statement can guide leaders to keep the team organised.

Examples: Top-ranked company CEOs like Nadella, Barra, and Bezos have started to follow a managerial leadership philosophy

6. Transformational Leadership Philosophy

If you are considering authentic leadership strategies for dynamic organizations, you should be practicing a transformational philosophy. Meanwhile, in such a process, you are required to constantly evolve and establish new benchmarks and goals. While the employees are set to execute the goals, the leader spends his time developing new practices for the betterment of the organisation.

Examples: Nelson Mandela, while working to abolish apartheid and enforce change in South Africa, utilised transformational philosophy.

7. Strategic Leadership Philosophy

Among the innovative leadership philosophies for the digital age is the strategic philosophy, where a leader is expected to balance high-level operations and team oversight. Hence, a strategic leader, with his role in executive operations, offers guidance and structure to the team.

Examples: Leaders like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates continue to follow a deliberative strategic philosophy for better outcomes.

8. Laissez-Faire Leadership Philosophy

Democratic leadership style in today’s corporate culture has seen a spike while continuously building a positive bridge between leadership and philosophy. In the same way, laissez-faire leadership, a practice that serves equal importance to the leader and time, can be counted among the best examples of a leadership philosophy. While leaders will only overview their teamwork while allowing them to work according to themselves, they will be working on other high-level matters.

Examples: Many start-up companies continue to follow a Laissez-Faire Leadership Philosophy for better outcomes.

9. Servant Leadership Philosophy

In such a practice, a leader mainly emphasizes the growth, well-being, and empowerment of employees. Servant leadership in modern workplaces has been considered best practice as it allows employees to thrive as their authentic selves. Different from traditional philosophy, where the major aim is the success of the organisation or company, servant leadership fosters the needs of employees.

Example: Some well-known companies that use the servant leadership style include Starbucks and Marriott International, among others.

10. Charismatic Leadership Philosophy

A charismatic leader is expected to work on his vision and deliver reports that possess a magnetic vision that attracts others towards your work. Besides, charismatic leadership traits and effectiveness are completely based on how we draft our regulations and utilise charm and persuasive skills to gain followers and win their trust.

Examples: Leaders who followed are Jack Welch, Oprah Winfrey, Lee Iacocca, and Satya Nadella, among others.

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Components of Leadership Philosophy

  • Your values as a Leader
  • Goals You Set for Your Organization and Yours Your explanation of the impact your leadership has had on the organization or team
  • A Description of how you assess the organisation and your team’s abilities
  • Seek Your Inspiration

If needed, you might also include evidence of your ability to lead effectively by providing some of the following:

  • Comments from your respective team members
  • Leadership portfolio
  • Leadership Evaluations
  • Peers Reviews

How do I write a leadership philosophy?

Follow These Six Steps to Write the best Leadership philosophy statement:

Consider Your Team

Before you begin writing your leadership philosophy, begin by considering your organisation’s team and what may be of greatest importance to them. If you are writing for a modern workplace, know that servant leadership can be the best leadership style and philosophy. Hence, as you consider your team, make sure you do your research.


When you are reflecting on what to include in your leadership philosophy, imagine the organisation, its members, and their overall needs. Your leadership philosophy can express what your organisation wants from you and the strategies you plan to use to accomplish that.

Seek Inspiration

To get your reader’s attention, include a list of people or organisations you admire. In your philosophy, consider sharing details about the specific people or organization and how they inspired you.

Write an Introduction

Start your leadership philosophy with a short but crisp introduction where you share with readers your general beliefs about leading something.

Craft the Body

In the body of your leadership philosophy, share what you believe is an ideal organisational environment. Then, explain how it makes you better as a leader, addresses the individual needs of your team, and encourages interaction between the team and the leaders. You can also set your goals and objectives and what you want your leaders to accomplish with the help of your leadership.

Conclude the Statement

In the final statement, review what your goals are as a leader, how you have met them in the past, and how you intend to meet those goals in the future. Discuss your future goals for leading and managing an organisation, and include what you believe makes you unique.

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Tips To Write Your Leadership Philosophy

Here are some additional tips you can use to write your leadership philosophy statement:

  • Employ simple language. Prefer using clear and concise language that does not include any jargon.
  • Use a Basic Structure: Consider using short paragraphs and headings that make it easy for readers to scan a document.
  • Pay Attention to Requirements: Take note of whether leadership philosophy has any specific requirements for length.
  • Proofread Carefully: Proofread the leadership philosophy statement carefully to resist any possible typographical errors or run-on sentences.

Final Words

Philosophy isn’t a set of fixed beliefs; a definition of leadership philosophy has major components like adapt, growth and change. By developing a personal philosophy for leadership, you may reiterate your leadership goals and describe the steps you can take to achieve them. As you plan to craft your leadership philosophy, remember that it will not only advance your career but will also affect your organisation and its respective employees.

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