My Style Your Style 6 Leadership Styles; Identifying and Understanding Leadership
Contents • Introduction to Leadership • The Six Styles of Leadership • Which One Are You? • Quotes • Who Are We Going To See
Introduction to Leadership • George Litwin and Robert Stringer of Harvard Business School studied the behaviour of managers as leaders in various settings. They concluded that managers exhibit a variety of patterned behaviours that can be described generally by one or more of 6 fundamental managerial styles.
According to what I've read, managers often mistakenly assume that leadership style is a function of their personality rather than a strategic choice. As a result, they choose one style that suits their temperament when instead they should select a style that best addresses the demands of a particular situation. Of course, this is much easier said than done.
The research goes on to show that the most successful leaders have strengths in several emotional intelligence competencies including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. Furthermore, there are six basic styles of leadership with each making use of the key components of emotional intelligence in different combinations. Finally, the best leaders are familiar with not just one style of leadership, but rather they make use of several and have the flexibility to switch between styles as the circumstances dictate.
Why is leadership style important? Because it directly impacts the organizational climate which in turn accounts for nearly a third of financial performance. That's a large enough percentage that it warrants becoming familiar with the styles that Litwin and Stringer identified. Here they are:
The Coercive Style • From my experience in the corporate world, this is the most common style. It is the "do what I tell you to do" technique that many people rely on because it seems easy. It's also the style that junior managers or those that are frustrated will fall back on. The unfortunate result is that in most situations, coercive leadership inhibits the organization's flexibility and dampens employees' motivation. I would argue that this is a good technique for leaders and managers to use with junior personnel who simply don't have the knowledge to make informed decisions.
The Authoritative Style • I don't like the name of this style. The term has negative connotations for me and yet it is a style that is effective in many situations. An authoritative leader uses the "come with me" approach by stating the overall goal, but giving people the freedom to choose their own means of achieving it. This style works especially well when a business is adrift. It is less effective when the leader is working with a team of experts who are more experienced than he is. As my familiarity in a particular area or with a particular business unit increases, I believe I respond well to this form of management.
The Affiliative Style • I'm not too familiar with the pure affiliative style of leading and managing, but I have seen the negatives that such a technique can have. This style believes that "people come first" and is particularly useful for building team harmony or increasing morale. The negative? Its exclusive focus on praise can allow poor performance to go uncorrected. I don't know about you, but having a happy-go-lucky manager who doesn't cut people that aren't pulling their weight doesn't make want to work particularly hard.
The Democratic Style • According to the research, this style's impact on organizational climate is not as high as most people might imagine. There's no question that by giving workers a voice in decisions, democratic leaders build organizational flexibility and responsibility and help generate fresh ideas. The downside is that such a style can lead to endless meetings and confused employees who feel leaderless. I think a lot of managers use this style exclusively when they first start out as they fail to realize that they're not employed to be everyone's friend, but rather to move the business forward.
The Pacesetting Style • On paper the pacesetting style sounds quite exhilarating (to me anyway) since the leader who sets high performance standards and exemplifies them himself has a very positive impact on employees who are self-motivated and highly competent. The problem is that many employees who are just at work because they need to pay their rent tend to feel overwhelmed by such a leader's demands for excellence--and to resent his tendency to take over a situation. I think this style shouldn't be confused with the "just do it" attitude that some managers exhibit without providing any direction, resources, or time.
The Coaching Style • This last style focuses more on personal development than on immediate work-related tasks. It works well when employees are already aware of their weaknesses and want to improve, but not when they are resistant to changing their ways. I'd hazard a guess and say that this style will only be effective with a small percentage of people on any given team.
Which One Are You? • What Works for Human Resources • Making the Most of Leadership Qualities and Skills By Lisa Maloney
How to get the biggest return on your investment in leadership qualities and skills. • Leadership skill means more than just steering your own career effectively. You should also be able to recognize, inspire and develop the best in others. For a CEO or business owner, that means setting high standards in leadership excellence for employees and contractors, then making sure they have the tools to meet those standards.
Making the most of leadership qualities and skills means putting the right people with the right leadership qualities in the right place at the right time. This, in turn, demands that you:1. Understand the difference between management and leadership.2. Find ways to evaluate whether a given employee has the skills needed for leadership.3. Recognize that leaders are made and give your employees a chance to focus on improving leadership skills.
Recognize that all managers may not have leadership skills • Managers handle things as they come and make sure the company and its employees can 'manage' or get by. Leaders, on the other hand, actively visualize, seek to improve and find ways of getting others involved in and invested in a shared vision of excellence. Make sure that you know the difference between what it means to cope or to excel, then pass that knowledge on to your employees.
Learn how to measure the qualities and skills for effective leadership • 'Leadership ability' may seem like an ephemeral quality that's hard to pin down, but using professional evaluation tools can help you to quantify what you're looking for and, over time, evaluate employee progress in areas like staying focused, honesty and reliability.
Encourage employees to develop latent leadership talents into effective leadership qualities • Leaders must be given the opportunities and support they need to bloom. Look for potential business leadership qualities, like the ability to visualize and to measure progress, in your prospective employees. Then make sure to give them the chance to develop into effective team leaders.
Quotes • Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. ~ Peter Drucker • Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. ~ Dwight Eisenhower
I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. ~ Mahatma Gandhi • It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. ~ Nelson Mandela
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulder of giants. ~ Issac Newton
If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. ~ Margaret Thatcher
Who Are we going to see? • Psycho-Geometrics – Susan Dellinger, Ph.D. • Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology – Sun Bear and Wabun