Hi Meaningful Leader,
If you’re reading this, it means you’re on a quest to become a better leader. Perhaps you’re already in a leadership role and want to keep growing, or maybe you’re looking to step up and become one. Regardless, I’m glad you’re here, it’s always great to chat with you!
Today, I want to talk about leadership styles. Why? Because understanding leadership styles is much like unlocking a secret power. It provides us with insight, allowing us to better navigate our roles, team dynamics, and ultimately, our success. It’s a fascinating journey and I’d love to take it with you. So, let’s dive right in.
The essence of leadership is not a one-size-fits-all. Far from it, actually. Each leader has a unique style that works best for them and their team. But what exactly are these styles? And more importantly, how can you identify your own? Let’s break it down.
The first step is understanding the main leadership styles:
- Autocratic: An autocratic leader typically makes decisions without consulting their team. They hold the power and control. While this style can be effective in emergencies, it’s not always the most popular among teams.
- Democratic: A democratic leader values input from their team members, fostering a sense of fairness and collaboration. This style can lead to high job satisfaction, but decision-making can sometimes be slower.
- Transformational: Transformational leaders inspire their team by setting high expectations and motivating them to exceed their own limits. This style can lead to increased productivity and morale but requires a lot of energy and charisma.
- Laissez-faire: A laissez-faire leader gives their team freedom to make decisions and carry out their work as they see fit. While this can foster innovation, it can lead to a lack of direction if not properly managed.
I would like to propose a 5th style, the one that has consistently worked best for me and the one I like to teach…
Growth Leadership: which carries some influence from the transformational leadership style, but applying intentional growth for both the leader and the team that generates high engagement, an amazing culture, talent retention and consistent high performance. It avoids the unnecessary stress and burden of micromanagement and serves as a strong platform to create more leaders, instead of keeping people stuck in a follower mode. Growth-focus leaders add value consistently and their goal is to create a legacy that can positively impact our world.
So, how can you find your own leadership style? Start by reflecting on how you interact with your team. Are you more directive or collaborative? Do you thrive on inspiring others or prefer to give them autonomy? Do you have it in you to truly shoulder the team and work alongside them? There’s no right or wrong answer here—just different ways of leading.
Now comes the part where we make this knowledge practical. Here are three tips for adapting your leadership style according to team needs:
- Understand your team: The more you know about your team— their skills, personalities, and work styles—the better you can tailor your leadership style to suit them. Remember, a great leader is one who brings out the best in their team. We draw out of them their innate greatness.
- Be flexible: As a leader, you need to be able to switch between styles as the situation demands. For example, a democratic approach might be best for brainstorming sessions, while an autocratic style might be needed to make a quick decision or during a moment of crisis.
- Get feedback: Ask your team for feedback on your leadership. This can be a formal process like a 360-degree feedback survey, or something more informal like a coffee chat. Either way, make sure to listen, learn, and act on the feedback you receive. A word of advise: If you’re willing to ask for feedback, be open and vulnerable, Don’t get easily offended and be honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Learn from the experience and use it as the building blocks for improving your craft.
The bottomline is that understanding leadership styles isn’t about pigeonholing yourself into a specific category, but rather about finding a unique approach that aligns with your team’s needs and your personal strengths and the common goals you want to achieve. The journey to effective leadership is one of discovery, adaptation, and growth; same as with a muscle, your leadership will become stronger with daily practice. So, embrace the journey, learn from your experiences, don’t be afraid of failure, it’s necessary for success, seek mentorship and remember—you’re already on your way to becoming a better leader.
I hope you found this article insightful and I can’t wait to embark on more leadership journeys with you. Until next time, stay inspired and keep on leading courageously! Please like, comment, and share with one leader in your network who can benefit from this content.
Thanks for reading and God bless,