Corresponding Author

Luz E. Quiñones-González, PhD


The following research presents the construct of “subtle leadership” in a conceptual discussion as a new way of perceiving and studying leaders of the twenty-first century. Its core objective points toward the conceptualization of “subtle leadership,” sharing a basic definition to provoke discussion and emerging theoretical framework in order to better understand the current organizational reality. Some leadership styles such as servant leadership, shared leadership, and authentic leadership are discussed to compare and contrast them with “subtle leadership,” emphasizing that leadership is viewed as a process and not only as styles or personal traits. Subtle leadership is primarily based on a high level of referent power and a holistic perspective of the personal and process factors essential for leading and influencing today’s workplace. Considering the potential of “subtle leadership” for further discussion in the academic world, it aims to generate provoking theory building.