In fact, leadership is a gradually developed trait that begins at a very early age. While some young children develop immediate “take-charge” attitudes and make friends fast, others are happy simply going along with the crowd.
As years turn into decades, education, careers and general life experiences eventually accrue to mold a leader’s overall philosophy and psychology. The answers to questions, such as “How do I best get the job done?” “How can I work well with others?” and “How can I manage the results of reaching my goals?” typically become a leader’s winning recipe for success.
That Old ‘Winning Formula’ May Not Be Producing the Results You Want
In some cases, a leader may discover that his or her winning formula is not necessarily producing the results that it used to. And new challenges, whether they are due to the shifting economy, evolving technologies, or a variety of other changes, may require innovative leadership skills and ways of communicating.
According to an August 3, 2016 article in the Harvard Business Review, there are four styles that capture a wide range of industry leaders’ various approaches to the “whys” and “hows” of leadership:
The Classic Entrepreneur. For this type of leader, management decisions encompass anything that ultimately relates to the “quest for success.” For example, as the writer states, “when faced with decisions about launching a new product or dealing with a disgruntled customer ... they focus on tough-minded calculations and no-nonsense financial returns.” These leaders, he says, mind the values their company stands for, however, it is the monetary value proposition that matters most.
The Modern Missionary. To this segment, winning is not as much about beating the competition, but rather about building something “original and meaningful”. To these leaders, economic value is always an important factor to consider, but human-related values are what drive their passion to succeed in the long run.
The Problem Solver. These leaders are big fans of concrete results. They strongly believe in the power of expertise, as well as the true value of experience. They rise through the ranks of the organizations they’ve helped develop, guiding their company and brand into the future. As the writer notes, “problem solvers are the first to confront difficulties and identify new opportunities.”
The Solution Finder. These leaders, believe that the “most powerful contributions often come from the most unexpected places.” What does this mean exactly? While this group of leaders is ambitious, they are the most modest, humble, and fully committed to ensuring that what they know never limits what they can envision.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, if you are leading well, you don’t necessarily exhibit just one of the above leadership styles. Rather, you learn to adopt the best elements of each to achieve your goals more effectively, engage your team, and meet your organizational goals.
The key takeaway is that today’s effective leaders must be able to modify their leadership style depending on the current needs of their organization. At times they must be directive and powerful. At other times, they required to be attentive and compassionate.
Of course, there are many other published theories about leadership styles where various skills come into play. No matter your approach, if you display a range of the above-mentioned traits, you will be well equipped to successfully lead a team into the future.
About Joy Humbarger
Joy, CEO and founder of Maximize Your Leadership, is considered to be a leading trainer and coach on turning negativity into profitability in the Greater Kansas City area. With more than 30 years of experience in the education and leadership fields, Joy is an expert in transforming mindsets to better business. She is the author of “Coaching the F___!! Out of Change”, a chapter in The Change11, a national collection of tips and stories to empower others to take their leadership to the next level. She provides individual and group leadership coaching. To schedule a training, workshop or consultation with Joy, email Joy@MaximizeYourLeadership.com.