Leadership style is the manner and approach used for providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. There are many styles of leadership but they essentially break down into the following categories:
- Commanding – Demands immediate compliance
- Visionary – Moves people towards a vision
- Affiliate – Harmony and emotional bond building, boost morale
- Pacesetting – Demands high-performance to achieve results
- Democratic – Consensus through participation
- Coach – Develops people for the future
- Laissez Faire – Hands off, delegates authority
Sometimes leaders will pick one style and use only that one style. Sometimes a leader will focus on being really good at two or three of the styles. The best leaders are the ones who are fluid and flexible in their approach.
One size fits all leaders have a solid understanding of contextual leadership and the importance it plays in moving your team and individuals forward. The antiquated way of thinking “my way or the highway” or “that’s just my style” will only result in a fractured culture and a non-productive organization.
Leadership today demands people who can quickly recognize and adapt their style to the situation and individual at hand. There is a time to control and a time to surrender, a time to collaborate and a time to dictate. Be more open-source and less proprietary in your approach by using a one size fits all leadership style.
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