For any senior manager or CEO, it is useful to take some time to reflect on the kind of leadership style you inhabit and see whether it is working for you and your team. There is a wide range of possible management styles and different ways to list and categorise them. Take your pick. What you won’t find, of course, is an answer that simply says “Good leader” or “Bad leader”. You could say there are as many styles of leadership as there are leaders in business, and every style has its good and bad aspects.
Types of leadership
One of the more common ways of breaking down leadership style includes: Autocratic; Authoritative; Pacesetting; Democratic; Coaching; Affiliative; Laissez-Faire…
Each has its own pros and cons. Whichever description you instinctively feel you subscribe to, you’ll almost inevitably then add, “But I’m also a bit xxx too.”
Because, of course, no CEO or business leader is or can be one-dimensional, any more than their job and their range of responsibilities are black and white – or predictable and static. Great leaders need to be versatile and adaptable.
How are you seen by your team?
However you see yourself and your vision as a leader, remember: this might not be how your team sees you. Take some time to put yourself in their shoes being managed by you. Might they see you as autocratic when you believe you’re demonstrating authority?
A style for all seasons?
The reality is, leadership styles differ according to the needs of the business and industry they are in, and sometimes specific moments in time. For instance, when you are up against a project deadline or need to bring in wide-ranging changes to stay competitive, such as a restructure, you may well need to take an authoritative stance rather than democratic.
To understand how to be an effective leader in all moments and at all levels, you need to know: the kind of business you are heading; the key skills required, available and missing in your senior management team; the motivational factors affecting their performance (and yours); and how you measure results and KPIs and how you handle areas for improvement.
You’ll also need to have an excellent vision of the outcome you’re looking for, extensive knowledge of the resources you have at your disposal and a clear overview of the processes that will help your vision prosper. Particularly amongst situations that threaten to destabilise your team and company. That’s where being agile in your style of leadership can help, so that you know the best approach to take when the situation calls for it.
Staying agile in 2020 and beyond
For many CEOs and other business leaders, Covid-19 is exactly that wildcard. Whatever style of leader you may be, however successfully you’ve blended your attributes in the past, you are now being asked to deal with a completely new set of parameters. You’ll need to learn new skills and rebalance others. With experience, objectivity and expertise, The Anthony Gregg Partnership is a reliable, expert and sure guide to help you navigate the current troubled times.