Today, discussing leadership style has become an extremely popular area. Many argue that a manager’s leadership style is one of the fundamental elements that determines the extent of both business and employee success. Therefore, it’s important that you understand your leadership approach. You can then decide if it’s working for you, your employees, and the overall business. You want to ensure that you are driving the business to meet its goals and objectives and be the best it can be. Therefore, it might be necessary that you take a step back, evaluate your approach and adapt it accordingly.
Below are five common leadership styles. Have a read and figure out which one best describes you. Hint – there isn’t one best way!
Transactional Leadership Style
This tends to be thought of as the traditional leadership approach. A transformational leader implements strict rules and shows little understanding for people’s circumstances outside of work. For example, people would have to use their holidays to attend doctor’s appointments or attend their child’s sports day. The rewards and punishments your IT team receive are contingent upon their performance. As a result, rules, procedures, and standards are essential in transactional leadership. Your focus is enhancing your own success and development along with that of the organisation. However, in some situations this approach does work well. For example, research has found that transactional leadership tends to be most effective in situations where problems are simple and clearly defined. It also works well in crisis situations.
Being a transformational leader means focusing on the needs of others, rather than your own. You treat each employee as an individual. Helping them find a work, life balance that suits them. This can often result in implementing flexible working hours. You’re all about motivating and encouraging your IT team to achieve both their own and the organisation’s goals and objectives. But do so without micromanaging. You strongly believe in trusting your employees to get the job done and the job done well. Give them the opportunity to be creative and look to the future. What’s great about a transformational leader is that they are often extremely passionate, energetic, enthusiastic and love to challenge the status quo. You are a brilliant role model and strive towards setting examples of how things should be done.
Authentic Leadership Style
Authenticity is described as ‘owning one’s personal experiences. For example – thoughts, emotions, needs, wants, preferences and beliefs’. Therefore, an authentic leader must understand their values and act accordingly. Rather than forcing their employees to follow their lead, they show authenticity by inspiring them to do so. Acting with integrity and agreeing on shared values. As a result, authentic leaders can achieve strong employee loyalty and commitment. There are four key components of authentic leadership. Self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing, and internalised moral perspective (do the right thing). However, entirely authentic leadership can be hard to achieve as people’s perceptions of what authenticity means can vary on a large scale.
Servant leaders work to achieve long-term, organisational goals by. They firstly facilitate the growth, development, and general well-being of the individuals in the IT team whilst sharing their power. This approach is great for building strong relationships with your employees. It truly demonstrates that you want to serve their needs. To help them be the best they can be. On the other hand, however, there is a danger that your employees might walk over you. You may find it hard to gain the respect that leaders with different styles can achieve. This is a balancing act so approach with caution.
Laisse – Faire
This is an extremely hands-off approach. Although you provide the tools and resources needed, you offer your IT team very little guidance. You give them complete freedom to make decisions on their own. As a result, people often have a lack of role awareness and poor involvement in the group. This can be demotivating and uninspiring. However, in some situations, this style works well. For example, experienced and highly skilled individuals require very little guidance, and some people appreciate the autonomy. This allows them to feel more satisfied with their work.
Leadership Style Round Up
Globalisation and social media amongst many other things has allowed leaders around the world to witness different culture’s leadership styles. This has prompted them to re-evaluate their own and we are now finding that people are steering away from traditional approaches such as transactional. There is now a huge emphasis on the importance of employee wellbeing. Most would agree that in order to run a successful, profitable business, you must ensure that your entire workforce is happy, fulfilled and motivated. However, it would be extremely difficult to adopt just one approach, therefore, taking different traits from the each of the different styles can help you become a leader that works for you and your business. Being able to do this shows you are diverse and after all, a diverse leader makes for a successful one!
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