Which of these famous leaders would you want to be most like?
- Bill Gates
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Oprah Winfrey
- Warren Buffet
There’s no wrong answer, because the truth is no matter which leader you pick, all have qualities we can relate or aspire to. Naming a leader (famous or not!) who you regard as ideal or effective can help you pinpoint the type of leader you are now and who you’d like to grow to be.
None of the leaders mentioned on this list lead their teams or communities in the same way, but yet they all achieved success. That’s because different types of leaders are effective in different scenarios and the only way to achieve success as a team is to define yourself as a leader.
Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds I promise.
I walk you through exactly how to define your leadership style and use it to your advantage in my latest episode of MakTV.
Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below.
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What is a leadership style?
Simply put your leadership style is the set of behaviours that you use to interact with your team. This includes how you motivate, how you give directions and empower your team, set goals etc.
Here are some of the most common styles of leadership:
A visionary leader to me is someone that gets up every day and says, we are going that way. This leader moves people towards a specific direction.
For a visionary leader, it’s all about the why rather than the how.
The visionary is willing to experiment as long as it gets the team towards the direction they are heading.
You want to think of a sports coach when you think of this style.
This is the type of leader that’s always thinking about how he or she can help their people become a more improved version of themselves.
They are the ones looking for ways to help you do better by not just focusing on your weaknesses but trying to get you to dominate with your strengths.
The autocratic is authoritarian.
Now I’ve learned a lot about the military lately and while this isn’t always the case, they say that a lot of military commanders kinda fit this bill of autocratic.
So if it helps to visualize what autocratic is, then you could think military commander.
This type of leader is all about authority and efficiency.
These are the leaders that make decisions on their own and expect that the team does what they are asked to do. They tend to lead by fear.
The democratic leader is all about getting input. So you will often find a democratic leader leaning on the team to help find the direction.
The bureaucratic is all about rules, policies and procedures.
Remember when you were in grade school and you wanted to do something that was slightly outside the lines and you had that friend that was like – no if we do this we gonna get in trouble? Yeah that’s the bureaucratic style of leadership.
This style expects their team to follow the rules as it is written. They expect that teammates stick to their responsibilities no matter what.
The pacesetter is interested in results and performance so they drive their teams hard to hit expected standards.
So the question on the table is….what is your leadership style?
Well it can be kind of hard to figure out if you have never been in a leadership position before if you don’t spend the time to actually think about it.
Now I think that we all have a little mishmash of a lot in us, but we may naturally lead to one style more than the next. And it’s good to know where we naturally lean so that we can either develop it or be careful with.
Here are a few steps to follow in order to determine your natural leadership style:
Step 1: Determine your values
Values will most definitely affect the way you consciously and subconsciously lead your team. Because it’s what you believe, it’s what you value that you are made of and affects the decisions you make.
Step 2: Consider your personality traits
Your leadership traits are born from your natural tendencies. So think about what your friends, family and colleagues mostly say about you.
There are two great great tests that you can use to help you in this area if you are having a little trouble with this.
One is called the DISC and the other is based on Myers Briggs called 16personalities. These tests will help you narrow down some of your traits if you are having a difficult time doing so on your own.
Step 3: Who has influenced you?
Consider whose leadership really influenced you. Think about the people in your life that have influenced how you make decisions and how you see things.
It could be a mentor, your actual boss, your parents.
Then you want to consider what their style is in dealing with others and making decisions to help you determine what you are attracted to as a style.
Once you have taken the time to reflect on these three steps, you want to look back at the different leadership styles and see where you land. There is bound to be a couple that feel like you. Keeping in mind that you will probably be a blend of more than just one.
It’s important that you know when it comes to leadership styles there is no such thing as one perfect style.
Yes there are just some styles that are more effective than others, and other styles that will have people screaming for the door.
But the point is to learn how to lean on the different styles during different seasons because your team will have different seasons where they require a different style of leadership to help them navigate the challenges.
This is why knowing where you land is so crucial so that you know what’s needed and when.
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