Differences in Leadership Style, Female vs. Male Employees

Throughout the entirety of my internship, I have been intrigued by the varying leadership styles between the men and women on my team. My direct supervisor, Lauren, is female identifying, while the head of my team, Steve, is male identifying. In my theories and models course this past spring, we discussed the differences in Implicit Leadership Theories for male and female leaders as well as the styles of leadership they employ. In my last theories in action post, I discussed that Lauren utilizes a situational style of leadership, namely Hersey and Blanchard’s theory of transformational leadership. She is exceptional at judging her follower’s readiness for certain tasks and is able to gauge when she should be more or less supportive. In the meetings run by Steve that I observe, especially larger meetings spanning departments, he employs a transactional style of leadership based on an exchange of resources and completion of tasks. For example, when he leads our voting rights meetings, Steve is very focused on which department is responsible for development of a certain material and when this will be completed as opposed to discussing what the department needs to move forward. As a leadership student, it was interesting to observe an Implicit Leadership Theory occurring in real life that seemingly showed a stereotype taking form. I am curious, however, if when meeting with individuals Steve employs a different type of leadership, and thus is actually adjusting his leadership to fit the situation. As an organization overall, I believe ADL values transformational leadership more so than transactional as they place tremendous value on employee development. I have been very impressed with their response to the murder of George Floyd and the racial unrest in our country and their commitment to anti-bias training. From my observations in these trainings, I am confident that the organization actively combats role congruity theory within their leadership roles, as evidenced by the different individuals on the senior staff team. While this is an important aspect of their mission, to secure fair treatment and justice for all, I believe that the organization values the varying leadership styles that unique individuals employ and recognizes that different leadership styles are necessary according to the situation.