What’s your leadership style?

There are many differing views on leadership styles. 

Your leadership style is also one of those common questions in job interviews.

Of course in many respects it’s a strange question to ask because there is no right or wrong style of leadership.  Different styles are required at different times.

What differentiates styles is the degree to which one directs rather than involves.  There are 5 key styles of leadership:

  1. Telling or the just do it style which is good to use in times of crisis or emergency.  For example you don’t want to spend time debating whether to leave a building if it’s on fire.
  2. Telling and selling where you tell what needs to happen and why.  It is a good style to use when significant change is needed and you have to get people on board.  For example when the way of doing business in your industry is changing and you have to adapt.
  3. Consultation where you want ideas and views but retain the final decision making authority.  This is used significantly by public bodies who need to formally consult with all stakeholders when they are proposing to make change.
  4. Participation where a group or team takes collective responsibility for the problem and decisions.  This is particularly valuable when you need different parts of the organisation to come together to make something happen.
  5. Empowerment where you state the outcome you want and leave it to one or more people to work out how to achieve it.  Works well with highly skilled and experienced people who want the freedom to do it there way.

Truth is we all have our preferred or default style when it comes to leading. 

What’s important is that you understand your preferred or default style of leading and the benefits and drawbacks of it?

Remember too that the style of leadership that you adopt will be influenced by the context or situation that you face.  There really is no one size fits all style when it comes to leadership.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 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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2 comments
Ideas Selling says 13 September 2009

I really enjoy reading What’s your leadership style? | Goals and Achievements . It’s very interesting. Hope you will post something like this again.

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leadership says 19 July 2011

You’ve got great insights about leadership styles, keep up the good work!

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