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Full-range Leadership

Key Idea

The idea behind full-range leadership is that there exists a constellation of leadership styles or behaviors, ranging transformational behaviors (see transformational leadership) to laissez faire leaders (those who basically do nothing while expecting results from the followers). Think of the full-range leader as equipped with a comprehensive toolbox, selecting the leadership style or behavior that is most conducive to any situation or context.

Book to Read

Full Range Leadership Development
by Bruce Avolio (2010)

Quick Take from the Book

The full-range leadership theory suggests that there are three types of leadership behaviors, represented by nine distinct factors. These are:

  • Transformational (idealized influence attributed to charisma, idealized influence behavior attributed to beliefs and values, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration).
  • Transactional (contingent rewards, management-by-exception passive, management-by-exception).
  • Non-transactional laissez-faire

Quote of Note  

"Fundamental to the full range leadership model is that every leader displays each style to some degree…[A]mong the components of transformational leadership, idealized influence and inspirational leadership are most effective and satisfying; intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration a bit less so. All four Is of transformational leadership are more effective than constructive transactional leadership. However, constructive transactions remain reasonably effective and satisfying for most situations except where a leader has no control over the ways a follower may be rewarded for satisfactory performance. Actively taking corrective action – that is, managing by exception and arranging to monitor the performance of followers – is generally less effective and satisfying. Waiting for problems to arise or remaining oblivious until a mishap occurs is seen as poor, ineffective leadership and is typically highly dissatisfying for followers. Most ineffective and dissatisfying is laissez-faire leadership, wherein the individual avoids leadership and abdicates responsibility." – p. 67 

Related Styles: Transformational Leadership, Transactional Leadership

Return to List of Leadership Styles