It’s an interesting question and it could be seen from many perspectives, for example;
a) Best? As being best to achieve specific result in a specific project? Best as being sustainable towards people and taking care of them as people? Best as most efficient, most bang for the buck regarding leadership?
b) For who? Best for people you lead? Best for you as project manager? Best for your organization as whole?
There are tons of books regarding leadership, however one book that really digs into different leadership styles and their pros and cons is; Peter G. Northouse book Leadership. As one of several criticism of Adaptive Leadership Northouse mention that it is to wide ranging and abstract and it can be overwhelming. And that leads to my third question;
c) Best as? Leadership as easiest to learn? Fastest to learn or adopt? Easiest to stick to in real life?
Perhaps too many questions and no answers. But it’s a very interesting question and could perhaps benefit of being discussed as such. Saving Changes...
I think Sten has restructured in a smart way that will guide thinking and contribution and as he stated,it is interesting question and could be seen from different angles.
I will contribute as follows:
The question is about what is the best leadership style , it is very difficult to conclude, however each situation has the best style to fit with.
From my point of view and looking for a style that capable to mange the change and lead organization to the success and growth could be the style of Transformational Leadership.
Literature and different studies demonstrate the capability of transformational leadership in empowering teams and provide them with necessary support and direction as needed to achieve the common vision and desired goals.
Currently ,I am involved in PhD study that is looking for the impact of Transformational leadership and Psychological empowerment on project success given in below link ;
There is not "best" or "worst". In fact, both adjectives are subjective and the first thing to do is to transform them into objective ones. Key to be successful is to understand the whole organizational architecture and mainly related to the topic the Style and Shared Value (culture) for the organization. What that best fits is what you have to use. Then, it is up to you if you accept to work inside that culture using the needed leadership style. Saving Changes...
Fully agree with Sergio. There is on "one" leadership style. From my own experience it is preferable to have a "flexible situational" style in the collaboration with the team. For example in SAP projects: In the Design Phase you give far more room and freedom to the team as you need their creativity, whereas in the cut-over phase it is far more directive, as predictive pieces just need to fall in each other.
Another point that is important: Be authentic in the leadership style you apply for yourself. Saving Changes...
Echoing Tony, a PM needs to look at a situation and determine which leadership style would be best in those circumstances. This is one of the main reasons project management is considered an art form, and why not everyone can perform it well. Saving Changes...