Styles of Leadership
Do They Really Determine What Real Leadership Is?
Before writing this piece on the various styles of leadership I did some extensive research to see what all the other, quote, experts all had to say on the subject, unquote. What I discovered was the same old fancy terms thrown out hoping they would resonate with someone.
Terms like authoritative, bureaucratic, charismatic, democratic, autocratic, transactional, situational, and task-oriented just to name a few!
My forty years in leadership has taught me one very simple thing and that is in order to accomplish a goal and then sustain the results it isn’t about going to a book or internet and trying to model yourself after one of the many styles of leadership. Not at all!
What I have found to be true is that you must develop your very own style of leadership. If you try to model yourself after someone else, you will fail. Of course there are some out there that will fail no matter what they do because they just don’t have the natural born ability to be a leader of any kind or style.
So let’s dive into what a leader is and what makes them either great or just a manager in a leaders disguise.
If you have read previous articles that I have written you will know that I am a strong believer in the fact that a great leader is able to envision how something should be and the probability of making it a reality. That same great leader is able to communicate that vision in a way that others will see it also. What makes this seem so incredible is that they do this with ease.
Regardless of the various styles of leadership and what one may call them the real bottom line is that a leader doesn’t sit down and try and determine what approach they should take to lead. It just comes natural.
In my case I feel I have been very successful at building teams to accomplish things that many would say are not possible. Although I have taken, as well as taught countless leadership classes I have never looked at one class and said to myself this is the way I will begin to apply my skills as a leader.
My way of teaching is much like my “Style of Leadership!” I try to help those attending try to see the same vision I have for what they can be. I hope that I inspire them to find something within themselves that will drive them to become something better.
As an example if I am the manager of a grocery store and my sales are down and I have decided to do whatever it takes to make our grocery store the number one store in the area. This is the very first step as a leader, but more importantly I must begin to envision how things should be.
My vision begins to be shaped and molded. I see our store as having the very best customer service anywhere. I see our store as clean and orderly with stocked shelves and the very freshest fruits. I see our store with a clean parking lot with freshly painted spaces. I see our staff in clean and professional uniforms. I could go on and on and keep in mind I know nothing about being a grocery store manager but this is my personal vision.
My next step and keep in mind it doesn’t matter what styles of leadership you want to call it is to communicate that vision to my staff. I must present it in a way that they see that same vision. If I don’t the vision will be lost! So how do I help them see the vision? I approach it from the standpoint that this vision is bigger than just one person. That the vision isn’t about me having the best store in the area, but it is about being able to be a part of a store that is seen to everyone as being the very best. If you can get your staff to see that same vision they will be onboard to make it happen.
If it were easy to be a great leader then everybody would be one. If the leadership classes and books could transform someone into being a great leader our world would be filled to the brim with great leaders. Instead we have mediocre to poor ones!
So stop trying to follow the bouncing ball on which styles of leadership are the best and then trying to model yourself after them. Instead get excited about something and then use that motivation to build that vision into reality.
Thank you and May God Bless You!
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