The Leadership Style Myth

If you are a leader or an aspiring leader in finance, you will be familiar with leadership styles.

You may even have been asked about your leadership style in a job interview.

Now it’s fair to say that there are different styles of leadership.

But what there isn’t is a best style that fits every situation.

In fact the reason is there are different styles is that it’s very situational or context driven.

In my experience there’s 5 main styles of leadership, which we’ll explore and consider when each might be most appropriate.

The Telling Style

Some might refer to this as the autocratic style and one that you should never use.

Of course that’s not the case.

There will be times when it’s highly relevant.

Usually when there’s an emergency or critical incident that needs fast and decisive leadership.

The Telling and Selling Style

This is where you tell and sell the reasons why action is critical.

Again there’s time when it’s appropriate.

A common example is where it’s recognised that change is needed.

But not everyone is on board so buy-in is needed.

Retail post COVID-19 is a potential area where this might be appropriate.

Many retailers on the high street are recognising the need to adapt to survive.

And need to take staff and customers with them on that journey.

The Consultation Style

This is where you want to make change but because you are publicly funded or because you want to use a site or unit in a specific way, you consult.

In other words you seek views and reactions.

While you involve, at the end of the day the final decision still sits with a specific individual or group.

The Participation Style

This is where you bring people together to work collaboratively to find a solution.

This style of leadership works best when you need people to come together to achieve an outcome.

It’s very much about reaching consensus.

The Empowerment Style

In essence this is where you decide the outcome you want and leave it to others to make it happen.

It’s a very hands off style where there’s lots of trust in others.

For that reason it’s a style that works best when you have a highly skilled and highly experienced team around you.

In truth there’s no one size fits all style.  Ultimately it’s about choosing what’s right in a given situation.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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20bet says 7 September 2023

Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

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