Leadership Lesson for Kids: Definition & Styles

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever been the leader of a group? There are different ways to lead groups of people. In this lesson, you'll learn about different types of leaders and the ways in which they're able to get people to follow them and do what they want them to do.


What is a leader? A leader is simply someone whom other people will follow. A leader is someone who can inspire you or motivate you to meet a goal. Think about a group you have been in, such as a soccer team or a club. Usually, there is someone whom the others in the group will listen to and will follow. That person is a leader.

A coach is a leader.

Sometimes people are identified as the leader, such as the coach of a soccer team, and sometimes the leader is someone whom other people start following because they believe that person knows what she's doing.

Types of Leaders and Leadership Styles

How do leaders get other people to do what they want? There are different ways they can influence others. These ways have to do with their leadership style. Some leaders will just tell others what to do. Some will ask questions and try to help the group reach a decision together. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to be a leader, but some ways are more likely to be successful. There are many different leadership styles; let's look at a few.


A charismatic leader uses his personality to get people to listen to and follow him. These are people whom everyone seems to like. They know how to talk to others and make others feel important.

Oprah Winfrey

Charismatic leaders are good at making speeches, and they are able to motivate others. People do what charismatic leaders want because they believe the leader is trying to do what's best for the people. This may not be true, but that doesn't matter; as long as the followers think it's true, they'll follow a charismatic leader. One example of a charismatic leader is Adolph Hitler. Other examples are Oprah Winfrey and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


A participative leader is one who believes that everyone in the group needs to be part of decisions that are made. The leader's job is to provide information and help the group discuss the problem. A participative leader asks for opinions and ideas from the members of the group. While it's the leader's job to make the decision, that decision is made with the input of all the group members. Usually, people working with a participative leader are more satisfied with the results because they believe they've had a part in it. Donald Trump and Warren Buffett, both financial leaders, have a participative leadership style.

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