Leadership Styles – Finding the Right Fit

Leadership styles are not  “one-size-fits-all” things.  Rhea Blanken wrote “8 Common Leadership Styles for ASAE.org in January 2013.  She believes if you are leading well you won’t have a single style but will mix and match to engage your team and meet your goals.

Murray John published on LEGACEE.com, March 2014, an article that identifies 20 types of leadership styles:  Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Coaching, Cross-Cultural, Emergent, Leader Exchange, Laissez Fair, Situational, Strategic, Team, Facilitative, Influence, Participative, Servant, Transformational, Charismatic, Visionary, Transactional, Level 5 and Primal.

What Leadership Style Works Best For You?

Different types of leadership styles exist in different environments.  What leadership style works best for you?  The ability to choose the right style at the right time is a highly developed skill. The culture and goals of an organization can determine which leadership style is required.  Some of the styles overlap.  It may take more than one style of leader to make the organization successful.

Four Leadership Styles Critical To the Current Global Situation

Authentic Leadership

Without authentic leadership we tend to get personalized charismatic leaders in weak situations that run the risk of self-centered and destructive to one group for the benefit of another. (Luthans and Avolio 2003). Authentic is leadership is genuine and comes from conviction and values.  It must be consistent so employees can depend upon the style of command they are following.  There are five characteristics of an authentic leader:  understand their purpose, strong values, trusting relationships, self-discipline, and act from the heart. (Bill George 2003, 2007)

Visionary Leadership

Leadership Styles – Finding the Right Fit
Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, seeing the big picture and thinking strategically. Visions, like cultures, ideologies and collective identities, make membership within a particular organization special, enriching and meaningful.  Visionary leaders create such meaning by appealing to and resonating with members’ identities. (Shamer, House & Arthur 1993)

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders bring deep change to their organizations by elevating their followers’ interests, stirring them to look beyond their own self-interest to the good of others. (Bass, 1996).  According to Kendra Cherry in About Education.com, transformational leadership has four characteristics:  intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation and idealized inspiration.

Sustainable Leadership

Sustainable leadership refers to those behaviors, practices and systems that create enduring value for all stakeholders of organizations including investors, the environment, other species, future generations and the community. (Institute for Sustainable Leadership) The definition of sustain is “to support, hold or bear up from below; bear the weight as a structure. Sustainable leadership means planning and preparing for succession – not as an afterthought but from the first day of a leader’s appointment. (Hargreaves and Fink 2004) To increase their sustainability IQ leaders need initiate a sustainability conversation and gather information about key aspects of the business and culture.  Sustainable innovations transform operations, cultures and leaders.  Companies that incorporate sustainability and responsibility into the DNA of their culture distinguish themselves and become leaders in their industries. (Glaser 2014)

Balance Leadership Styles

To create a balance in your business between strategic goals, internal pressure and external risk, be open and adaptive.  Build your core leadership style so your team will experience consistency and build trust in your relationship.