Choosing the “Right” Leadership Style for You

  • Jennifer F. Waljee
  • Justin B. DimickEmail author
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


Effective leadership skills are essential for all surgeons, especially with the increasing shift to multidisciplinary care in our delivery systems. Although numerous archetypes and models have been proposed to capture an “ideal” style, effective leadership is more about substance than style. The best leaders are value-driven and demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence. In this chapter, we will explore strategies to enhance each of these skills and outline a model for leadership development for surgeons in practice.


Leadership Professional development Emotional intelligence Professional satisfaction 


  1. 1.
    Nielsen K, Yarker J, Brenner SO, Randall R, Borg V. The importance of transformational leadership style for the well-being of employees working with older people. J Adv Nurs. 2008;63(5):465–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Faragher EB, Cass M, Cooper CL. The relationship between job satisfaction and health: a meta-analysis. Occup Environ Med. 2005;62(2):105–12.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bosma H, Marmot MG, Hemingway H, Nicholson AC, Brunner E, Stansfeld SA. Low job control and risk of coronary heart disease in Whitehall II (prospective cohort) study. BMJ. 1997;314(7080):558–65.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nielsen K, Randall R, Yarker J, Brenner SO. The effects of transformational leadership on follower’ perceived work characteristics and psychological well-being: a longitudinal study. Work Stress. 2008;22(1):16–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    van Dierendonck D, Borrill C, Haynes C, Stride C. Leadership behavior and subordinate well-being. J Occup Health Psychol. 2004;9(2):165–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gilbreath B, Benson P. The contribution of supervisor behavior to employee psychological well-being. Work Stress. 2004;18(3):255–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kirkpatrick SA, Locke EA. Leadership: do traits matter? Acad Manag. 1991. ;The Executive;5(2):48–60.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hassan H, Asad S, Hoshino Y. Determinants of leadership style in big five personality dimensions. Univ J Manag. 2016;4(4):161–79.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hersey P, Blanchard KH, Natemeyer WE. Situational leadership, perception, and the impact of power. Group Organ Stud. 1978;4(4):418–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bass B. From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision. Organ Dyn. 1990;18(3):19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Judge TA, Piccolo RF. Transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-analytic test of their relative validity. J Appl Psychol. 2004;89(5):755–68.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Masi RJ, Cooke RA. Effects of transformational leadership on subordinate motivation, empowering norms, and organizational productivity. Int J Organ Anal. 2000;8(1):16–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Avolio BJ, Bass BM, Jung DI. Re-examining the components of transformational and transactional leadership using the multifactor leadership questionnaire. J Occup Organ Psychol. 1999;72:441–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bono JE, Judge TA. Personality and transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-analysis. J Appl Psychol. 2004;89(5):901–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Salovey P, Mayer JD. Emotional intelligence. Imagin Cogn Pers. 1990;9(3):185–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Goleman D. Working with emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Dell/Random House; 1998.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Dulewicz V, Higgs M. Emotional intelligence: a review and evaluation study. J Manag Psychol. 2000;15(4):341–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Palmer B, Walls M, Burgess Z, Stough C. Emotional intelligence and effective leadership. Lead Org Develop J. 2001;22(1):5–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kumar S. Establishing linkages between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. Ind Psychiatry J. 2014;23(1):1–3.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Magzan M. Mental models for leadership effectiveness: building a future different than the past. J Eng Manag Competitiveness. 2012;2(2):57–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mathieu JE, Heffner TS, Goodwin GF, Salas E, Cannon-Bowers JA. The influence of shared mental models on team process and performance. J Appl Psychol. 2000;85(2):273–83.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Quinn RE. Moments of greatness. Entering the fundamental state of leadership. Harv Bus Rev Boston. 2005:1–11.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Quinn RE. Building the bridge as you walk on it: a guide for leading change. San Fransisco, California: Wiley; 2004.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    DeRue DS, Spreitzer G, Flanagan B, Allen B. Developing adaptive leaders for turbulent times: the Michigan model of leadership. Eur Bus Rev. 2013:1–11.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jaffe GA, Pradarelli JC, Lemak CH, Mulholland MW, Dimick JB. Designing a leadership development program for surgeons. J Surg Res. 2016;200(1):53–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dimick JB, Mulholland MW. Design principles for building a leadership development program in a Department of Surgery. Ann Surg. 2018;267(1):39–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pradarelli JC, Jaffe GA, Lemak CH, Mulholland MW, Dimick JB. A leadership development program for surgeons: first-year participant evaluation. Surgery. 2016;160(2):255–63.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryCenter for Health Outcomes and Policy, University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganDepartment of SurgeryAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations