Have you ever analyzed your leadership style? Each person has an
approach to leading that feels right.
But is your natural way of leading producing the best results for you? After years of studying the history of leadership and the various leadership modalities, I wanted to know the answer to that question for myself.
My conclusion surprised me. I’d like to share some revelations about how you can create the best version of yourself by intentionally crafting your own unique style of leadership.
Leadership styles run the gamut from autocratic, top-down versions at one end to charismatic, visionary folks at the other end. But I found a distinctive combination of attributes that work well for me. I invite you to choose your own blend of leadership methods that work for you. Here are a few to consider.
Transformational leaders bring out the best in everyone.
Leadership does not reside exclusively in an individual but, rather, in the relationship between individuals, and it is oriented to social vision and change, not organizational goals. This model focuses on changing the human condition.
Transformational leadership results in enabling followers to rise to a higher level of performance than anyone thought possible. In the process, the leader is also elevated to a higher level.
As the name suggests, this style actually transforms the individual which, in turn, transforms a team or an organization to a higher level of functionality. Transformational leaders focus their attention on the strengths of their followers. They fan the flames of potential in each person, resulting in a new, vibrant version of each person.
Transactional leaders can bring a sense of stability.
This type of leadership refers to the exchange relationship between leader and follower to meet their own self-interests. It often takes the form of contingent reward whereby the leader clarifies for the follower what needs to be done to achieve a reward.
Alternately, the transactional leader may monitor the follower’s performance and take corrective action if the follower fails to meet certain standards.
Some people prefer a transactional leader because expectations are clear and performance is either rewarded or corrected. Either way, employees know exactly where they stand. Transactional leadership is a barter — an exchange of specific wants between leader and follower. This is very different from the goal of self-actualization, which the transformational leader inspires.
Both styles have their merit.
Most leaders feel naturally drawn more to one of these leadership styles than the other. Each of these styles can appear independently of each other. However, the best leaders typically display both transformational and transactional leadership. Finding the right combination for yourself is critical to being an effective leader.
Actually, you may find yourself choosing a different style depending upon the situation. The best leaders are able to switch between various leadership approaches depending on the needs of their followers.
This is often referred to as situational leadership. You may find, for example, that your optimal style of supervision changes as the level of the follower’s maturity increases or decreases. You may lead differently in response to diverse settings or organizational cultures.
According to the case, evaluate which leadership style is better for organizations.
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