The Military Leadership Styles

Transactional style

Transactional leadership is characterized by the relationship between the leader and his followers. The director achieves the fulfillment of tasks from his followers through the “carrot and stick” method. Usually, a superior uses various rewards in exchange for the performance of his subordinates. Different bonuses and punishments contribute to the motivation of employees and their interest in achieving specific goals. The leader establishes a link between achieving goals and remuneration, clarifies expectations, makes promises and resources in exchange for the support of followers, enters into mutually beneficial agreements, negotiates resources, exchanges his help for efforts from employees and encourages successful work. Without a transactional basis, expectations remain blurred, the direction of movement is unclear, and goals are vague. Transactional leadership forms the foundation for a more mature interaction (Haimanot, 2020). This system is often used in the military: if the soldiers perform their duties well, they are rewarded; if the servicemen fail, they receive a reprimand or a more severe punishment from the commanders.

Transformational style

Transformational leadership is one of the leadership styles that involve the implementation of significant shifts by the leader. The one is deeply interested in his work and is immersed in the process. He inspires his subordinates to “new feats” and positive changes. At the same time, the leader should identify the weaknesses and strengths of his followers and set them tasks that can optimize their work. Transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale, and productivity of followers through various mechanisms, including linking the sense of identity and self-consciousness of the follower with the project and with the collective self-consciousness of the organization. This leadership motivates people to achieve unexpected or remarkable results (Haimanot, 2020). In the military, it gives the soldiers the authority to make decisions and influence the future together. That causes a positive change in the attitude of followers and the organization.

Servant style

Servant leadership is a concept based on serving the people. A service leader is always an excellent example for everyone. He is characterized by empathy, sensitivity, involvement, sociability; The one will always listen and help. They feel and understand the world of the interlocutor, can empathize; This person is always honest and leads intelligently. The entire team participates in decision-making, and the contribution of each person is important for the future. However, the service leader prefers not to be the center of attention and allows his team to independently make decisions concerning their synergy. This approach helps to create a good corporate culture and leads to an increase in the morale of each team member (Hai & Van, 2021). This system allows soldiers to develop better through joint efforts. Indeed, service leadership has its own significant disadvantages, such as the lack of making quick decisions and the ability to complete the work in the shortest possible time.

Autocratic style

The authoritarian leadership style is based on the formal authority of the leader. It is characterized by the desire of the superior to take decisions on himself without any consultations with assistants. The advantages of this style are making quick decisions, employee productivity, and less stress under certain circumstances. The disadvantages of this style are fear and unpleasant feelings for subordinates, lack of flexibility and feedback. An autocratic leader is a leader who seeks to centralize power, basing it on official position, control over the distribution of rewards and coercion. The autocratic leader tightly manages all the work within his competence and, to ensure the performance of the work, can exert psychological pressure, threaten. The main personality traits of an authoritarian leader are ambition, dominance, categoricity, rudeness, intransigence to criticism, aggressiveness, rigidity. Autocratic leadership works best in situations where quick decisions are required without considering disagreements (Haimanot, 2020). For example, in the military industry, an autocratic leadership style is often used; Commanders-in-chief are responsible for soldiers and make difficult decisions, which allows servicemen to focus exclusively on fulfilling orders and assignments.


Followership is primarily the ability to follow the leader, adhere to his views, opinions, judgments and support his efforts. Good followers are diligent and purposeful, pay attention to details and make efforts. In this case, any of the sides depends on each other. Such relations are characterized by teamwork and joint work of people focused on a particular task. Followers and leaders are active participants in creating productive, effective processes and situations. Consistency will always be in the shadow of leadership. But there are no leaders without followers, and constant success with weak followers usually turns out to be unattainable (Scott, 2019). In the army, soldiers are aware of their responsibility for following the orders of the commander and take appropriate actions.


Haimanot, A. (2020). The effect of leadership styles on the employee performance: In case of army foundation. St.Mary’s University.

Hai, T. N., & Van, Q. N. (2021). Servant leadership styles: A theoretical approach. Emerging Science Journal, 5(2), 245-256. Web.

Scott, D. H. (2019). Applied followership for sustainable competitive advantage. [Master’s thesis, The University of Strathclyde]. ResearchGate.