In the work universe, leader types and styles abound. Major leadership types include transformational, situational, servant, and charismatic – to name but a few. These are in profound contrast to the “Great Man” (traits-based) type as put forth by Francis Galton in his book Hereditary Genius over 150 years ago in 1869.
I see this (now) “great person” archetype transforming profoundly. Organizations place high value on relational skills such as emotional/social intelligence (EQ/SQ), participative-shared management talent, as well as the ability to respond to crises with with grace under pressure. Leaders who master these skills will always be in demand.
Regardless of your leadership style, one thing is certain:
Those whom you lead may not know or even care about your style, it is their experience of you that makes the difference.
What this boils down to is whether your behavior that either empowers or diminishes the human spirit. Thus, finding your leader-center – a place where you are confident, resolute, and purposeful – is a game-changer.
Development is a process, not an event. Knowing your personality and leadership strengths and liabilities will lead to successful outcomes for you, your team, and your organization. Leader assessment (checking under the hood) is a first, best step to obtaining true insights into one’s type, style, and, most importantly, answers the question: “What are my next steps?”*
For example, the following real-world example is happening right now– how would you respond?
“COVID-19 is impacting your team’s morale and performance is beginning to lag. You’re hearing things like “I’m so sick and tired of this- and I’m so done with this *%#!!!” (feel better? ;). Meanwhile, the HR staff is searching for the best way to enhance morale – and they are under pressure from several managers whose usual calm and steady demeanor has shifted to command and control urging action now(!) And today you came across two articles that asserted workplace engagement is on the wane, and the culture of many organizations is deteriorating.”
You feel compelled to act, to do…something. What would that look like?
Depending on your personality and style, you may take very different actions or…no action at all. And one response to a situation does not brand you as one style or another. This illustrates the importance of finding your balance, center, and influencing through this purposeful place irrespective of what is happening around you. Always remember that you have the choice to evolve – becoming aware of how you respond under duress may be painful but it is priceless.
Leader and management development is a shared enterprise between you and your employer; it can only happen if you make a commitment to do so and if the stated commitment expressed by most organizations is matched by resources (time and funds) to foster leader growth.
Be safe, remain centered, and stay well!
Thanks for stopping by,
Joe Lemmon, PhD
P.S. I chose the COVID scenario for its real-time scenario potential. And the “engagement” and “culture” articles are real. Interestingly, my response today was first to dig deep into the article’s assertions and to separate the messages (and research) from the intent of the groups mentioned therein. I found that by doing so, my response shifted and resulted in a fresh take on the information. It was gratifying for me – and perhaps is the same for you – when you “take the lead,” investigate, and discover what you believe to be valid. Once doing so, then we are able to communicate these findings to leaders, peers, co-workers and clients, providing a different perspective to these messages.
*Btw, there is a no-frills leadership quiz on idealist.org which may provide some initial direction regarding your leader style (photo credit to this group). We offer a gratis consultation to discuss organization development, leadership, engagement initiatives with you- where does it hurt?
Leroy, H., Palanski, M. E., & Simons, T. (2012). Authentic leadership and behavioral integrity as drivers of follower commitment and performance
Roussin, C. J. (2008). Increasing trust, psychological safety, and team performance through dyadic leadership discovery. Small Group Research, 39(2), 224-248.