The fact that there are many different leadership styles is no secret. What few seem to understand, however, is that these are styles – not types – which means that people can adopt and adapt them as need be. Truly successful leaders, like Charles E Phillips Infor CEO, understand this, and use it to their advantage. So what are the styles, and when is each one needed?
- The Visionary Leader
Visionary leaders try to get people to come together on a shared vision. They show their team where they want them to go, but they allow them to figure out how to get there by themselves. This is very motivational. Visionaries are open about information, believing that knowledge is power. Unfortunately, this tactic often doesn’t work with peers or those with more experience, working instead on situations of change and new direction.
- The Coaching Leader
Coaching leaders understands what people want and connects these desires to the goal of the organization. This means a lot of talking, often outside of the workplace, trying to get to know individuals’ personal strengths and weaknesses. Coaches know how to delegate, not in the least because it allows them to show others how to shine. If not done properly, however, coaching can become micromanagement. If people have to build long term capabilities, however, this is an excellent option.
- The Affiliative Leader
Affiliative leaders connect people together to create harmony. They work together in collaboration and believe emotional needs are more important than business needs. If this is not done properly, then all distressing situations are avoided, which means people cannot learn from mistakes either. If done well, affiliative styles work very well in conjunction with visionary leaders. It is particularly useful if there is conflict or another form of stress.
- The Democratic Leader
Democratic leaders value commitment and input and put participation at the forefront. They hear the good and the bad out. If done wrong, however, democratic leaders can struggle to take effective action. Democratic leadership should be used in periods of uncertainty, when a single, simple decision has to be made.
- The Pace Setting Leader
Pace setting leaders want to make work exciting and challenging. They exemplify the excellence they want to see in others. If there are poor performers, they are identified and more is asked of them. Pace setting leaders will also get stuck in and do the work if need be. They don’t give a lot of guidance, as they have high expectations. Short term results are very good in this style, but long term ones tend to be poor. This is because there is little to no emotional intelligence involved in it. The style is usually best on a project that is to be completed by a competent and motivated team.
- The Commanding Leader
Last but not least, there is the commanding leader. They give clear directions and soothe fears because they are commanding and powerful. They don’t want others to agree with them, they expect compliance. They can, unfortunately, seem distant and cold. However, if rapid action is needed in a time of crisis, then commanding leaders are needed.