What is your Leadership Style? And what of your leaders?

Some people have it, others don’t … or so it would appear. How many people do you know that are great leaders and how many different ways do they lead? Business leaders such as Branson. What of the likes of Obama, recently inaugurated into his second term of office. Cameron taking a somewhat debatable stance on the EU referendum… historically we have Martin Luther King, August Caesar, Darwin and to even dare say Hitler.

And what of their style? There appears to be as many ways to lead as there are people to carry the role out. Fortunately, there are simple ways to describe the main styles of leadership.

Here’s details of 5 from the 10 known styles that may well be effective within your teams and by understanding them, it may give you some insight as to how best to lead.

1. Transactional Leadership … A simple state of you get paid to do a job/task. If you do it and do it well, you get rewarded. If you don’t, you get punished. More akin to ‘Management’ style than leadership but offers clarity concerning team member’s responsibility.

2. Autocratic Leadership … The next and extreme step over Transactional Leadership. Leaders have ‘complete’ power over their teams who have little or no opportunity to make change even if the organisation could benefit from them! Incredibly efficient, as work gets done through decisive instructions, but as humans, this doesn’t sit well with us and often leads to high absenteeism as well as turnover. Crises management, such as the armed forces, are best suited for this style.

3. ‘Leave it be’ Leadership … Hmm, not one of my favourites! This is more of a hands off style (the French and sometimes our own businesses refer to it as Laissez-Faire) and allows people to work completely autonomously for themselves. Effective when team members are highly experienced, only needing feedback when required. Laissez-faire offers high job satisfaction in the right circumstances but can have detrimental effect if members have poor time management skills, easily swayed with procrastination or do not possess the relevant acumen to complete the task.

4. Democratic/Participative Leadership … Involves the teams’ input in the final decision. Encouraging creativity and team work. Often resulting in high job satisfaction from the followers as well as productivity in non-mechanical tasks. This leads to increased motivation to complete relevant tasks but not simply for financial reward. The downside is that decisions can often take longer to be reached.

5. Transformational Leadership … In business, this style is often found to be the best. These leaders take the best elements from themselves as well as their teams resulting in higher productivity and involvement from the majority of followers. Although strong in motivating others and offering enthusiasm, often these leaders need detailed leadership themselves from such types as transactional leaders! Ergo, to create a strong leadership in any given organisation or firm, both types would parley together nicely.

There are five more styles and if you would like further information on these, please send an email so they can be forwarded to you.

Coaching to Success are very active with regards insuring the correct style of leadership is appropriate for the situation. Not all styles will necessarily obtain the desired result but through coaching, leaders can come to see the benefit from amending the style currently adopted to increase the required productivity from the team members.

If you are one of those forward thinking individuals or companies who can see the benefit of leadership (in the right style) and want to make absolutely sure you are getting the best from your team, call us to arrange a free consultation by contacting Neil (07761 187238) or email at info@coachingtosuccess.co.uk. We’re here to help.

… and here’s the last reminder … The deadline of 31st January 2013 to take us up on the offer of a complementary 30 minutes coaching session that will be designed to hit hard and fast to help you get you on track to your new you is nearly upon us … ACT NOW!

There have been 2 Comments on this article

  1. Mark Corder

    I like to think of the leadership styles as being on a continuum. At the one end, you have a very autocratic style where people do as they are told without license to think for themselves. At the other end, the coaching end, the solutions to issues are discovered and implemented by the people, and the leader plays a more coaching/facilitative role, but rarely provides the answers, thus encouraging a more self-managing team.

    The better leaders are able to move comfortably along the continuum as the situation dictates, flexing to meet the needs of the teams depending of the type of situation being faced. Clearly, if there is something urgent and important, like a crisis or the threat of disaster, a more autocratic approach is likely to be required as there will be little time to consult, consider and implement. Likewise, if the stakes are low and there is less urgency, what better way to engage, stretch, challenge and develop the team and its members than by allowing them the latitude to come to a reasoned conclusion on their own, without having things handed to them on a plate (the old adage of ‘give a person a fish and feed them for a day, teach a person to fish and feed them for life’).

    Whilst there is an often held view that people such as Adolf Hitler were ‘great’ leaders (in the sense of ability rather than for their morals or goodness), I still believe they limited their potential by remaining inflexible in their style; as even in war, not every day, hour or minute is one of impending crisis.

    • Neil Nutburn

      Hi Mark… Your points are acknowledged and I whole heartily agreed with. To be successful in any leadership role, you truly do need to be able to adjust. The purpose of this blog was to help people understand which one(s) they particularly align to and then to start exploring other avenues according to their situation.

      Obviously, as this is an area that you too specialise in, any one style will not work over a given period of time. It’s about being aware and knowing when to apply which appropriate style or combination of. As you know, people also range between the carrot and stick approach as well as vary according to task or objective in hand so then different style of leadership are then applied to different people.

      A very complex and deep subject matter and if this has achieved nothing else other than to get people thinking about the fact that leadership is a skill and form of art that needs to be nurtured and developed rather than something people are just born with… then it has served its purpose.

      Thanks for your comment, it truly is appreciated.

      Here’s wishing you all the best … Neil