Choosing a leader with an appropriate leadership style is critical for a firm's success. Thus, it is important to understand which leadership styles are most effective. Furthermore, past research suggests that different leadership styles are effective in different national contexts. However, little research has focused on which leadership styles are most effective in Russia — the focus of this paper. This study has two parts. The first part investigates the leadership characteristics most commonly used to describe Russian leaders. Respondents from 90 firms identified task-orientated, relations-orientated, authoritarian, and democratic as the four most commonly chosen descriptors. These descriptors were then used to construct a model (a 2×2 matrix) which identified four different leadership styles (statesman, clergyman, politician, and military-man). In phase 2, middle managers from 101 firms in Russia then evaluated the effectiveness of these four leadership styles. Responses revealed that the statesman style (task-oriented democrat) and the clergyman style (relations-oriented democrat) were considered most effective.