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What is Your Leadership Style?

What makes a good leader and role model?

At one of my first jobs, as a bartender at the Western Districts Football Club, I had two managers who oversaw my embryonic hospitality career. And I could not have had a more different experience and relationship with them.

In terms of the first one (let’s call them the “good” manager), I found myself actively listening to what they said, bouncing ideas and concepts off them, and even modelling my behaviour on theirs.

At the time I didn’t understand why, but, for the “bad” manager, I’d find myself switching off (I think they once said “are you even listening to me”), avoiding contact and not enjoying my shifts when they were in charge.

Now, I recognise my experience was a result of the leadership styles my managers used. It’s the difference between Transformational Leaders and Transactional Leaders, a key concept covered in the Club Managers Leadership and Management program.

Transformational leaders inspire their followers to change and work towards common goals and objectives. They do this by gaining the trust, admiration, and respect of their followers, with the success of the leader being measured by the impact on their followers.

The theory identifies 4 different components of transformational leadership:

  1. Intellectual Stimulation – Transformational leaders challenge and encourage creativity among their team members and encourage them to explore new ways of doing things and provide new opportunities to learn.

  2. Individualised Consideration – Transformational leadership offers support and encouragement to individual staff members. It fosters supportive relationships and keeps lines of communication open so that staff can share ideas and receive direct recognition for their contributions.

  3. Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they articulate to their team. These leaders are also able to motivate staff to experience the passion and motivation required to fulfil goals.

  4. Idealised Influence – The transformational leader serves as a role model to the staff. Staff learn to trust, respect, and strive to emulate their leader by internalising the leader’s ideals. On the other hand, transactional leaders believe that staff are motivated by rewards or punishments. Rewards demonstrate that staff are following orders, and punishment is a result of non-performance or disobeying orders.

Unlike transformational leaders, transactional leaders do not inspire their staff. They believe staff should do as they are told, and hence don’t provide team members with any reason to perceive them as role models.

Of course, there is a time and a place for transactional leadership and really good club managers understand that there is no single leadership style and that leadership is dependent on the task being managed. They consider the context of a situation and utilise a leadership style best suited to that context. Situational leaders, therefore, manage according to the situation, and to the task/team member they are dealing with at the time. To be effective, this type of leader needs to be able and ready to change depending on the circumstances they are facing.

I’ve concluded that my “good" manager, who is now a close friend and mentor was a situational leader.

The Club Managers Leadership and Management program has been modelled on the Diploma of Leadership and Management, ensuring it covers a full gambit of management and leadership topics. Importantly, it has been tailored and contextualised for club environments and participants apply learned skills and knowledge into day to day club based scenarios and situations.

For more information on the Club Managers Leadership and Management program go to


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