2 Sep, 2018

What’s The Number One Leadership Style In The World?
Whatever you may believe, there is no one-size-fits-all in being a great leader. Different leaders have different styles and what works for one may not work for someone else.

I’ve always been fascinated by what makes a great leader – and I’ve seen a wide range of different approaches. What I have also observed is that there are some common features in the style of those who are really inspiring leaders.

  1. They are comfortable with who they are – they don’t try to be something they are not and recognise that there is only one style – their style. 
  2. They are the example – to themselves as well as to others. They can look in the mirror in the morning and say, “This is a person who I would be prepared to follow.”
  3. They know what they stand for and stand for it every day. Which means they are consistent in thought and word and deed and everyone around them knows what to expect.
  4. They are committed to creating inspiring leaders from everyone around them. They delegate, coach and support so that others can learn and grow and be the next generation of leaders.
  5. They understand what it takes to inspire others. They understand the common needs of all people and recognise that different people have different goals, treating them accordingly.

Be Yourself

In doing these five things, they create organisations where people release discretionary effort and come to work full of enthusiasm. They create a ripple effect wherever they go – one inspiring leader creating a circle of others, who in turn create a larger circle.

Using the analogy from my last article, they are a lighthouse, illuminating everyone around them.

What a leader does not do is instruct. No one likes being told what to do – in fact it generates phycological reactance, an inbuilt response to avoid doing as we are told. And, should people be forced to comply, they quickly become dependent and cease to make decisions without consultation and permission. When this happens, decision-making grinds to a halt and so does the organisation.

Four steps to understand your style

  1. Watch the two short videos from Lucy Melling and Simon Cook and their view on personal style

2. Make some notes on your own style as you see it now – how do you move through the world? Think about your values and principles, how you communicate and interact, when you are at your best; how you meet goals and deadlines. If you are feeling brave, ask your team how they would describe your leadership style.

3. Watch the video from Chris Roebuck on what effective leaders do

4. Consider how well you meet these common features and where you might want to adapt and adjust how you are doing things.

We’d love to know your views on leadership styles. Who have been inspiring leaders and what made them that way? Who was uninspiring and what did they need to do differently? Join the debate  in the comments below.


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