Leading others can be one of the toughest things to learn in your career. Many master their craft, but never develop the skills required to motivate and inspire their team. In a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal, titled “How to Develop a Leadership Style,” I came across 6 defined styles of leadership for today’s workplace.
Interestingly, the article emphasized that to be a successful leader, one has to be able to take on all styles and adapt accordingly to any given situation at any time. Chances are the person leading you may not be able to glide effortlessly through these styles, so it may be beneficial to figure out what style your leader is and how to work with them most effectively based on that. Below are the six styles, defined, and some thoughts on how to respond to each type of leader.
A Visionary Leader can define where an organization needs to go, but cannot pinpoint how to get there. They are “idea people.”
This type of Leader needs enthusiastic employees that are able to delve into the day-to-day details to accomplish goals but can still maintain a supportive attitude about changes that could stimulate growth. Show this leader that you are open to change and can iron out fine points on your own to help them achieve their goals.
A Coaching Leader is a one-on-one mentor that works closely with employees to manage their tasks and hit their goals.
This Leader puts a lot of personal time and effort into their team, and expects mutual respect and effort. Show this person that you value their input and time, and instead of perceiving it as micromanagement, understand the motivation behind this is for your benefit. Let them know that they helped you get there when goals are met.
An Affiliative Leader is defined as one that thrives on creating group harmony through praise and connecting people to each other. They are morale-cheerleaders of sorts.
When working under an Affiliative Leader, remember that their ”kumbaya” approach is in good faith that you will continue to perform at your peak level despite the lack of power they can demonstrate. It is easy to hold yourself to lower standards in this type of environment.
The Democratic Leader encourages their team to give heavy group input and guide the organization in the right direction. They tap into the knowledge base in front of them to make decisions.
If you work for a Democratic Leader, share your experiences openly with them and your team. However, remember to pick and choose your battles. If everything in the organization is up for debate, it can lead to utter chaos. Also, be mindful of the fact that your Leader is still the ultimate decision-maker and you may not get results you seek simply by voicing your opinion. Be ready to respect their final call.
A Pacesetting Leader can be extreme at times. They are perfectionists with extremely high goals for themselves and their employees.
A Pacesetting Leader could easily become de-motivating. If goals are unattainable, approach this Leader about redefining what is being asked of you. Utilize their drive to push yourself to attain everything you possibly can, but do not let an unrealistic mindset from this person change your entire attitude about the workplace
A Commanding Leader is a low-praise, high-criticism, Dictator-like Leader. It is the least effective, yet most commonly used of all six styles.
Hopefully you do not have a Leader with only the Commanding style, but if so, do all you can to meet the goals set before you and learn to foster positivity with your teammates to keep the work environment productive. Praise doesn’t have to come only from your manager. Find an outlet to bond with those on your level.
As you develop your professional career, you may encounter any or all of these leadership types. Having a solid understanding of how to effectively perform and impress your managers will propel you toward professional success.
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Author Name – Janna Haley
Title – Account Manager
Location – Richmond, VA
Twitter – @ProfilesJanna
Byline – Janna has four years of recruiting experience with Profiles and loves working within the ever-evolving niche of Marketing and Advertising. When she isn’t seeking out the latest and greatest in the field, she enjoys experimenting at the piano, cuddling with her crazy dog, and tasting new food and wine.