Commanding leaders (and Everything DiSC)

Commanding leaders (and Everything DiSC)

The commanding leadership style is the last of our continuing examination of the 8 dimensions of leadership. No matter what our own style of leadership, we all have something to learn from the styles that come more easily to others.

Commanding leadershipWho is a commanding leader?

Commanding leaders tend to be competitive, driven, and assertive. Their confident style might be the one you first think of when you think “leader” and therefore be seen as a natural leader.

Commanding leaders are extremely motivated to get results. This can create a sense of positive urgency or a stamping on the feelings and needs of subordinates. They’re often seen as ambitious, assertive, and competitive. At their worst they’re seen as forceful and egotistical.

Strengths of the commanding leader:

  • They are able to set and stick to aggressive timelines.
  • They tend to be very goal-oriented.
  • They’re able to speak with conviction.
  • They’re not afraid to take some risks.
  • They’re comfortable stepping up to take charge when a group lacks direction.
  • They’re able to make tough decisions that may not be popular.
  • They set high expectations for themselves and others.

Goals: Bottom-line results, victory

Would increase effectiveness through: Patience, empathy

–Source: The 8 Dimensions of Leadership

What can we learn from the commanding leader?

cartCurious about your own style? Take this quick leadership assessment.

Readings to support the commanding leadership style

During the  creation of Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders and Everything DiSC Work of Leaders and their corresponding books, Inscape Publishing’s authors and researchers reviewed a number of writings about leadership.  Here are a few they reference for descriptions, attitudes and skills of deliberate leaders.

Successful Executives Handbook, Susan Gebelein et al
“The primary purpose of a driving, demanding leadership style is to set the expectation that individuals and teams should achieve critical organizational goals in an efficient, effective, and timely manner.”

The Handbook for Leaders, by Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman
“Extraordinary leaders wake up in the morning with a plan and put it into effect. They don‘t always wait for permission before moving ahead.”

“Leaders who tend to focus on results are in the driver‘s seat, with a foot on the accelerator—pressed to the floorboard most of the time.”

Good to Great, Jim Collins
A Level 5 leader “demonstrates an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult.”

Winning, Jack Welch
“Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls.”

“Peacetime Management and Wartime Leadership,” Judith Bardwick
“Psychologically, leaders lead because they convince others that they understand the issues better than anyone else. People follow them because they speak about solutions with persuasive conviction, project confidence when others are uncertain, and act decisively.”

We offer this additional reading:

Why Confidence Is Always A Leader’s Best Friend, Forbes
“In hard or uncertain times, of which there are many, employees want to be guided by a leader who projects confidence. It send the right calming message, as do its close first cousins, resilience and optimism.”

4 Bold Ways to Be a Confident Leader, Success
” 2016 research from Cornell University found that when you’re in a stressful situation, reframing your distress as passion makes you seem more competent. In other words, shift your emotions from negative to positive.”

Leaders, Stop Avoiding Hard Decisions, Harvard Business Review
“Whatever temporary pain you might incur from making a tough call should pale in comparison to the precedent you set that it’s important to put the organization’s success first.”

Do you have any additional readings to add to this list?


Links to and are for your convenience. We receive no remuneration for these links. Personality Profile Solutions, LLC, is an Everything DiSC – A Wiley brand – Partner.


by Kristeen Bullwinkle and the team


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