Over recent decades, the institutions of political leadership have been criticised for being caught up in outdated designs that are not adapting to societal changes. In many western countries, this diagnosis has spurred design reforms aimed at strengthening political leadership at the local level. Based on a study of reforms in Norwegian and Danish municipalities, this article first develops a typology of reforms aimed at strengthening local political leadership. Leadership reforms are categorised into four types aimed at strengthening Executive, Collective, Collaborative, or Distributive political leadership. The typology is used to map the prevalence of the different types of reforms in the two countries. The results show that design reforms as such are more widespread in Danish than in Norwegian municipalities. In particular, reforms aimed at strengthening Distributive political leadership are used more extensively in Denmark than in Norway. The article discusses the contextual differences that may explain this variation.