The past two weeks has brought a lot of focus on our country’s new leader and his ‘leadership style’. Regardless of what you think of what we are hearing or observing, there is no question that our overall collective desire is to see achievement of the goals that are important to us as a nation and individually. In organizations, the same desire holds true.
It makes little difference if one has a responsibility to lead an entire organization, a department, a full team or just one other person.
all situations. These are the basics:
- Achieving the goals of those we have established as desired and needed
- Operating in ways that will instill trust in us as a leader … a key ingredient to gaining the respect of our reports
- Creating an environment in which people are willing to follow our lead so that success will be realized at the highest possible level
To the extent we can agree that these basics are among the goals of most leaders, the style that one employs to achieve them varies greatly. The variance and how we choose to be a leader is influenced by several things that include our experience, the effectiveness of the models we have had and the personalities that we bring to the responsibility. Here are leader ‘types’ that I encounter with regularity:
- The Teacher/Mentor
Teaches, demonstrates and guides reports with the intent that they learn and grow in their capabilities thus making them individually stronger and more valuable to the effort
- The Ambassador
Democratic and one who strives to bring people together by providing all with a voice intent on building consensus. This approach often results in encouraging creative thinking by encouraging diversification of perspectives and approaches.
- The Warrior/General
Driven by power, status, and certainty at the same time he/she comes off as entitled, arrogant, and authoritarian. Immediate compliance is required.. It is a style more associated with times past as consensus building is not the goal. Performance is.
- The Servant
Viewed as being the ‘inspirational’ type. The approach puts team members first. In this humanistic style, the leader is seen as a listener and empathetic with reports demonstrating high morale and enthusiasm for the tasks at hand.
- The Coach
Out to build a cooperative and high-functioning team. Although the personal style of coaching may vary, the goal of developing individual skills, maximizing the cooperative success of the group is one that drives this leader type.
Once any of us are put into a position of leadership it is often the style of leadership in a given culture that will clearly impact personal success as well as that of the organization, department, team or individual we lead. To me, this seems worthy of consideration and a conscious choice. Agree?