Upgrading Your Leadership Style

COVID-19 has turned Corporate America on it’s head. And you leaders in the executive suite have been on the receiving-end of the biggest and most traumatic disruptions.  To regroup and reset,  maybe it’s time for you to think about refreshing and upgrading your leadership style. 

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Great expectations or pipe dreams

With the increase in vaccinations, the subsequent decrease in social restrictions, and schools reopening, things seem to be looking up. And CEOs are chomping at the bit, longing to return to the old normal—on site supervision and control of employees.

Reality checks and paychecks

Even if all remote employees were eager to return to the office, few are eager to embrace the old norms. From where they sit on the corporate ladder, stressful commutes, long hours, and iron-fisted leadership are unappealing and impractical.

It may be equally impractical for underlings to expect superiors to yield to their demands and expect to keep their jobs. Forgive the mixed metaphors, but everyone on the corporate ladder is also in the same boat. That’s the paradoxical reality with which both camps must grapple.

The pain of change

Reversing course can be challenging even in smooth waters. But, like the iceberg tha t sank the Titanic, COVID has threatened to sink businesses, large and small. Some CEOs can see the iceberg dead ahead. But many don’t know how to change what they do and how they do it in order to avert disaster.

campfire 1Traditional leadership styles

In his book Campfire Leadership: Effective Leadership From a Personality PerspectiveMagnovo’s CEO, Rob Jackson identifies 4 dominant traditional leadership styles. His descriptions may cast a new “light” on your own style.

  • Jackson calls leaders who enjoy the limelight “Spotlight leaders.” That’s because they’re at their best when they are in charge.
  • Leaders who shine backstage, will take center stage when necessary—but only when necessary. These timid “Torchlight leaders” prefer to lead from behind.
  • Jackson’s “Lighthouse leaders”  wear this moniker well because like any lighthouse, they search the horizon for obstacles. And while they avoid the spotlight, they quickly sound the alarm lest a project be compromised or destroyed. 
  • “Disco light leaders”  savor action, set a pretty fast pace, and keep their teams up to speed. 

Both superior and servant

What some popularly refer to as servant leadership,  Jackson calls “Campfire Leadership.” Like servant leaders, Campfire Leaders both value and invest in their employees. As described in his book, they encourage innovation and listen to out-of-the-box ideas. They aren’t threatened by opinions that contradict their own. Campfire Leaders know that “Yes”men do no good.

They don’t treat mistakes as failures, nor do they berate the workers who make them. These leaders know that mistakes happen and that they shouldn’t be used as weapons.And they think and plan beyond their own self-interest. This means they readily groom others to lead. They see future leaders as company assets,  not competition.

Campfire Leadership, aka servant leadership, may be hard to wrap your head around at first. You probably weren’t trained to  embrace team members as people instead of dominating them. Establishing a corporate culture of transparency, openness, and support may seem counter-intuitive right now.But in the current climate, drastic changes across the board may be necessary—from the executive suite down.

Upgrading your leadership style with DiSC

Of course, you may be one of those forward-thinking leaders who doesn’t bristle at the idea of being transparent. And you may be too secure and mature to feel threatened by the prospect of  losing your  so-called “clout”. 

Nevertheless it may still be hard to unlearn the old and embrace the new. Truth is, it’s hard not to do what you’ve always done. First, ask yourself these questions: How would you characterize your leadership style? How’s it working for you? Are you willing to upgrade it?

Would you like to get to the heart of how you do what you do, why you do it and how effective it is? All of these answers are available through DiSC personality training.

DiSC means Dominant, Influential, Steady, and Conscientious. These are the 4 basic personality types we all share in differing measures. Understanding your own personality will increase your self-awareness and dramatically improve your insight into the personalities of your employees. 

DiSC is a window into the minds and hearts of the people who make your company successful. Open that window, let some fresh air in, and begin afresh. It will be the first important step toward reviving your company during these challenging times.

Upgrading your leadership skills with DiSC and Campfire Leadership concepts—it will be an illuminating experience.