It’s been said many times before. Everything rises and falls on Leadership. The ability to lead people is key when it comes to getting things done in business as well as Life. What kind of leader would you say you are? Let’s take a short quiz which may explain a lot about how you are or are not getting things done.
We’ve all heard about Gen. George Patton. He was the leader of the Allied Forces during the Korean War. Patton was a no holds barred kind of leader. He believed in strict discipline in his ranks. No one was safe when it came to his steely gaze if his wishes weren’t carried out.
Military life, structure and the way to get your troops to cooperate only work in the military. The type of things Patton got away with just won’t work in a voluntary employer employee relationship. Today’s rules and regulations are built around protecting the workers, whereas in the military the rules are totally different.
Business demands your ability to convey an idea to your employees or partners and more importantly convince them to work as a team and follow your lead. Leadership is the ability to get people to follow you in an endeavor. Without being able to lead others you are walking alone.
There are many types of leader in business today. Your success will depend on whether you are able to positively connect with people and persuade them to follow you. It is virtually impossible to complete a task as a lone wolf. It may not take a Village to complete a task, but it does take a team.
Get to Know Yourself
- Know yourself.
Start by raising your awareness of your dominant leadership style. You can do this by asking trusted colleagues to describe the strengths of your leadership style. You can also take a leadership style assessment.
- Understand the different styles.
Get familiar with the repertoire of leadership styles that can work best for a given situation. What new skills do you need to develop?
- Practice makes a leader.
Be genuine with any approach you use. moving from a dominant leadership style to a different one may be challenging at first. Practice the new behaviors until they become natural. In other words, don’t use a different leadership style as a “point-and-click” approach. People can smell a fake leadership style a mile away—authenticity rules.
- Develop your leadership agility.
Traditional leadership styles are still relevant in today’s workplace, but they may need to be combined with new approaches in line with how leadership is defined for the 21st century.
Today’s business environments are fraught with challenges due to the changing demographics and the employee expectations of a diverse workforce. This may call for a new breed of leader who is an amalgam of most of the leadership styles discussed here.
The seven primary leadership styles are:
- Autocratic Style
The phrase most illustrative of an autocratic leadership style is “Do as I say.” Generally, an autocratic leader believes that he or she is the smartest person at the table and knows more than others. They make all the decisions with little input from team members.
- Authoritative Style
The phrase most indicative of this style of leadership (also known as “visionary”) is “Follow me.” The authoritative leadership style is the mark of confident leaders who map the way and set expectations, while engaging and energizing followers along the way.
- Pace-setting Style
“Do as I do!” is the phrase most indicative of leaders who utilize the pace-setting style. This style describes a very driven leader who sets the pace as in racing. Pacesetters set the bar high and push their team members to run hard and fast to the finish line.
While the pacesetter style of leadership is effective in getting things done and driving for results, it’s a style that can hurt team members. For one thing, even the most driven employees may become stressed working under this style of leadership in the long run.
- Democratic Style
Democratic leaders are more likely to ask, “What do you think?” They share information with employees about anything that affects their work responsibilities. They also seek employees’ opinions before approving a final decision.
- Coaching Style
When you have a coaching leadership style, you tend to have a “Consider this” approach. A leader who coaches views people as a reservoir of talent to be developed. The leader who uses a coach approach seeks to unlock people’s potential.
- Affiliative Style
A phrase often used to describe this type of leadership is “People come first.” Of all the leadership styles, the affiliative leadership approach is one where the leader gets up close and personal with people. A leader practicing this style pays attention to and supports the emotional needs of team members. The leader strives to open up a pipeline that connects him or her to the team.
- Laissez-Faire Style
The laissez-faire leadership style is at the opposite end of the autocratic style. Of all the leadership styles, this one involves the least amount of oversight. You could say that the autocratic style leader stands as firm as a rock on issues, while the laissez-faire leader lets people swim with the current.
Excerpts taken from:
Presentation Skills Training, Author, Columnist Business Trends & Insights, Clarion Enterprises Ltd.