Leadership styles are as varied as the people who lead. When studying them, two basic types of leaders emerge. Which are you?
If you are a people-centric leader, you will think about how to get the best from your team. You will be drawn to personality traits which are useful in accomplishing your goals. You will understand your crew, and know what drives each one of them.
Are they interested in advancement? Would they work hard to be promoted? This person often begins asking questions soon after hire. They want to know the hierarchy of the business or organization, the duties of various positions, and what the progression is from one to another. You can bet this employee is very observant of the people in these positions, and probably can tell you more than you have observed about the qualities of your current leadership.
Is there a raise in the future for anyone? Is a bump in pay what makes them want to cooperate? Is this person trying to stand out so that they will qualify for the next round of pay grade increases? Many times, this person is the same as the one above, working toward advancement. However, this is not true in every case, and you would do well to see the difference. Some people do not want added responsibility, and would simply like to be rewarded for doing their current job better than the rest of the pack. These are the ones who will perform well consistently, but shrug their shoulders at the thought of moving up the ladder. They just want to pay the bills and go home at the end of the day with no worries.
Is there one who just likes to be praised for a job well done? You may find more of these than you think! We all like to be appreciated. A good word, spoken at the right time, is often a great motivator. Don’t be afraid to speak praise in front of the team. One of the simplest methods of morale-building, this not only gives credit to one who deserves it, but it also lets the rest of the team know that you are taking note of worthy accomplishments. This may also motivate any other praise-driven crew members.
If you don’t see yourself in any of these thought patterns, you may be a process-centric leader.
If this is you, then you are checking numbers and statistics. Your baseline for performance is found in the charts. You are less worried about the time a person has taken off work, and more worried about the output of their machine while they are at work.
You go into meetings with comparisons and projections. You even may base your foundation for raises and promotions on the production numbers. If you offer up praise to an employee, it is probably centered around making quotas for two weeks, and may be worded as such. When you call out an employee it is for excessive production, which makes your team stand out. Your need for teamwork is simply based on the cooperation necessary to get the goal accomplished.
While neither of these is better than the others, you may find that some employees respond well to one style, while others produce more for the other leader. Being able to assess your own style, and balance it with the needs of your crew, to get them all to the finish line ahead of the rest is the goal for every leader. Learn your style, and embrace it to get the job done.
MG (Retired) Mike Diamond is CEO and founder of Diamond Strategy Group. Diamond Strategy Group is a leadership development and consulting company. We focus on improving the quality of leadership within organizations by utilizing the same methods Mike and his consultants have used in both military and civilian sectors. We invite you to stay connected! Visit us online at www.DiamondStrategyGroup.com and connect with Mike Diamond Strategy Group on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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