STYLE over substance is a common phrase and yet in terms of effective leadership, one without the other is like toast without marmalade.
A good leader will adopt a certain style and also have some, or all, of the qualities one might expect of a person faced with making the decisions that matter.
So, which style is yours? A charismatic leader relies on their personality, their inspirational ideas and their aura. They are often visionary leaders, take calculated risks and are good communicators. Non-charismatic types rely on their know-how, their quiet confidence and their cool, analytical approach.
The autocratic leader imposes decisions on people and often uses their position to force others to do as they are told. A democratic person will encourage others to participate and involve themselves in the decision making. Enablers inspire people with their vision, while controllers manipulate to obtain others’ compliance.
There is no such thing as an ideal leadership style. It depends on circumstances and effective leaders can flex their approach to respond to different situations and demands. It can also depend on factors such as the nature of the task, the characteristics of the group and the personality of the leader.
Interestingly, it is considered that those in the past who ‘knew all, could do all, and could solve every problem’ have been replaced in modern society by those who ‘ask how every problem can be solved in a way that develops other people’s capacity to handle it.’
In terms of qualities, these may vary too. Research suggests good leaders are likely to possess enthusiasm, confidence, toughness, integrity, warmth and humility. They support colleagues, recognise individual effort, others’ problems and ideas, offer direction, practise what they preach, encourage teamwork, encourage feedback and develop people.
Do these attributes resonate with you? If not, you might need to work on it!
(Article based on an extract from How to Be An Even Better Manager)