Unconventional Leadership Strategies That Produce Extraordinary Results


History books talk of the many leaders who took risks and led their people down the path to greatness. Over the years, people have tried to understand these memorable leaders, attempting to uncover their secrets and learn how to implement these leadership skills in the workplace. This research led to the emergence of conventional leadership strategies, a categorization that was given to them because they were applicable across different fields. However, there are several newer, unconventional leadership techniques that leaders use today. Read on to learn about how these techniques apply to today’s work environment.


De-hassling is a leadership technique and term coined by author Verne Harnish in his bestselling book, Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It . . . and the Rest Don’t. De-hassling centers on removing distractions from an environment instead of glamorizing the said environment.

If your team has a task to work on, instead of focusing on inspiring them, leaders should make the working environment as conducive as possible for producing optimum results and only provide support where necessary. This environment aims to reduce and eliminate factors that might demotivate team members, keeping them interested in their tasks.

Absorbing Blame and Giving Credit

Traditional leadership techniques have often involved blaming employees for problems or taking credit for their successes, leading to dysfunction and resentment. A better method is for leaders to give team members credit for good work and assign blame to themselves when something goes wrong.

If there is an issue, leaders should task themselves with identifying the problem and finding ways to correct it. Further, they should not accept credit for team successes, and they should look to identify members under them worth recognizing. This technique promotes cooperation and conducive communication between leaders and team members.

Stepping Back

Many leaders have gotten comfortable in their role as leaders and the mindset it comes with, namely that their opinion stands and they know best. However, stepping back requires a leader to put their trust in those under them. It gives employees the freedom to be open-minded, creative, and innovative. It also provides a way for team members to navigate a crisis, allowing them to find solutions and learn without supervision.

The Praise Effect

Praise is essential during task execution. When we were growing up, we learned that certain things were wrong or right depending on whether we were admonished or praised when we did them. As adults, people require praise not as a guidance tool but as an acknowledgment of our presence and effort. You could say that that falls under credit, but whereas credit comes after the job is complete, leaders can share praise at any stage. The recognition is a form of motivation to workers and encourages them to work harder and be more open-minded toward their leader.

The “Rock” Stance

A company’s CEO should always uphold the interests of the company before any other, even if this means making decisions that conflict with the interests of other executives. During such instances, the CEO should not waiver on their choices or accommodate any other opinions if their chosen path leads to prosperity. A leader has difficult decisions that they will need to make at the expense of others’ happiness. A leader will need to stand firm and defend their decision while showing no ego or self-interest in the decisions they make.


This technique involves a leader going out of their way to articulate every decision and task they give to those working under them. This eliminates ambiguity and reduces the chances of a work crisis, paving the way for increased efficiency. It also aids in proper communication in the workplace and general interactions. Workers will have more confidence as well, as clarity reduces the anxiety that comes with uncertainty about an important issue.

Challenging Those under Them at Every Turn

Leaders have the role of challenging their subordinates. It is common knowledge that when employees get comfortable and they are no longer motivated, their efficiency and productivity stagnate. When this happens, and even before it becomes a possibility, leaders should cultivate a challenging environment that pushes workers to succeed, an environment that encourages them to explore options outside of their leader’s direction to build and grow their skills.


Leaders can use these unconventional techniques and many more to change the dynamic of the work environment. There isn’t one specific technique that will ensure you turn out to be the best or most productive leader—the path to effective leadership is different for everyone. In the end, however, how you implement these strategies will define you as a leader, not the processes themselves. So aim to be a leader others want to follow.