Confining your perspective to just one approach is bound to yield highly subjective results. Modern history tries to implement scientific theory into its proceeding:
- Gathering evidence, establishing the factual basis, confronting source material (be it written, chemical, archeological...). Quantify what is quantifiable.
- Postulating a falsifiable hypothesis on a narrow question. History is very broad, but one can still narrow down questions (eg.is there a correlation between the fall in mean temperature and the diet of medieval European peasants? How do gold prices and Mansa Musas Hajj relate?).
- Single out possible sources of error, find new evidence, analyze single factors, confront with evidence from other fields.
- Collect hypotheses to form a theory. Submit for peer review. Publish. Wait to be disproven. Change theory or start again.
In the end, the modern history approach tries to avoid "What if's" and pompous statements like those you mentioned. That is stuff for novelists, philosophers and journalists who process the work provided by historians.
A completely different story, is what a certain historian specializes in. There might be one publishing only about a certain historical person, and another just concerning himself with the geopolitical workings of the Caribbean in the late 1950ies. No one (except school teachers) will tell you though, that by studying the life of William the Conqueror you have understood the entire history of 11th century England, there is just so much the lives of the so called "great persons" don't tell.