ASSESSING LEADERSHIP STYLES
Leadership is an ever-evolving process, a vision of maximising efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal through social influence. It is a fluid practice, requiring a leader to improve, transform and adapt innovative means to reach the desired result. Providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people form the foundation of any leadership. In order to build a good relationship between a leader and their team members, helping to establish rapport, trust and respect, choosing the right leadership style is of paramount significance. Reflecting on how you lead is an essential aspect of being a good leader.
Today, with the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe, affecting economies, work environment, etc., it has become increasingly important to implement newer approaches in this ‘new normal’. The growth of digitization, work from home culture has emphasised on adapting to novel leadership techniques.
There are numerous leadership styles, however only those that instigate the growth of both the leader and their team prove to be more fruitful than others. The leadership style a leader chooses might, to a certain degree depend on the type of organisation you are employed by, your colleagues and your working environment.
Our leadership styles can vary based on situation and circumstance we find ourselves in. One thing we need to be attentive to and assess is our dominant leadership style – a style that we portray majority of the time.
A few of them are –
Democratic/Participative Leadership aims to involve team members in the decision making process making the team feel included, engaged and motivated to contribute. Although the leader makes the final call, each employee has an equal say on a project's direction. Democratic/ Participative Leadership increases employee motivation and job satisfaction, encouraging employee creativity and aims at high level of productivity.
Often referred to as one of the most effective styles, it allows lower-level employees to exercise authority they'll need to use wisely in future positions they might hold. It also resembles how decisions can be made in company board meetings.
Strategic/Collaborative Leadership defined as the ability of the top level managers or executives to determine the future courses of action and direction of the firm and motivate the members to make efforts in that direction. Strategic leaders sit at the intersection between a company's main operations and its growth opportunities. He or she accepts the burden of executive interests while ensuring that current working conditions remain stable for everyone else. Strategic leaders are the focal point for organizational learning, promoting a culture of inquiry, and they search for the lessons in both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. They study failures—their own and their teams’—in an open, constructive way to find the hidden lessons.
Coach-style Leadership aims at identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member on the team, with additional focus on strategies that will enable their team work better together. This style offers strong similarities to strategic and democratic leadership, but puts more emphasis on the growth and success of individual employees. Rather than forcing all employees to focus on similar skills and goals, this leadership style aids to build a team where each employee has an expertise or skill set in something different. In the long run, the leader focuses on creating strong teams that can communicate well and embrace each other's unique skill sets in order to get work done.
This style helps employees to improve on their strengths by allocating new tasks to try, offering them guidance, or meeting to discuss constructive feedback. The leader might also encourage one or more team members to expand on their strengths by learning new skills from others.
Transformational Leadership is a leadership style in which leaders encourage, inspire and motivate employees to innovate and create change that will help grow and shape the future success of the company. Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their workforce without micromanaging — they trust trained employees to take authority over decisions in their assigned jobs. It’s a management style that’s designed to give employees more room to be creative, look to the future and find new solutions to old problems. This is a highly encouraged form of leadership among growth-minded companies because it motivates employees to see what they're capable of.
To encourage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee, a leader must have an open door policy. Employees can take their workplace concerns, questions, or suggestions outside their own chain of command without worrying.
The future generations are focused on more innovative leadership styles, creating a mix depending on the situation, their enthusiasm and spirit of intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurship refers to a system that allows an employee to act like an entrepreneur within a company or other organization. Intrapreneurs are self-motivated, proactive, and action-oriented people who take the initiative to pursue an innovative product or service. An intrapreneur knows failure does not have a personal cost as it does for an entrepreneur since the organization absorbs losses that arise from failure.
It’s very important to identify a leadership style that you’re comfortable with and will result in growth of the organisation or your team too.