Leadership some believe you're born a leader, others agree that leaders can be made, either by the person striving for it, or their environment molding them into one. But what is leadership, and how can our understanding of it expand our own skills?
What is the best definition of leadership?
Before anything else, we have to know what leadership is and what it's for. As defined by Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the basic idea is: the office or position of a leader, the capacity to lead, or the act or an instance of leading. Dictionary definitions are good, but there's a level of coldness to it. To be a great leader, it's important to be able to connect to and motivate others, have a vision and the drive to achieve it, powerful strategizing and communication skills, encouraging innovation and creativity among their peers, and most importantly, failure isn't the end, it is only a lesson to be learned.
What do you understand by leadership?
It's entirely possible to lead without understanding the origins or theories surrounding leadership and what it entails, but to be a truly great leader, understanding is a must. A discerning leader knows when to act, when to wait, how to manage and direct, and when something must be let go. Being perceptive and empathetic is imperative if one wishes to lead effectively.
Why do leaders change their style?
So, someone has become a leader. Does this mean they've reached the pinnacle of human achievement? Absolutely not. Any successful and beloved leader will tout that the evolution of their skill required a metamorphosis. Stagnancy leads to falling behind, proper leaders would never want that.
Factors that lead to change can be small or large, sometimes starting as a move from direct management to indirect management. A smaller group of people under a leader can be more directly worked with as a team, however, as the team grows and things become more complex, managing the same intimate way might become impossible. This may result in needing to delegate sub-leaders underneath you, setting the strategy and expectations and knowing that if you've led well, your team will be able to make decisions without your direct input.
Releasing perfectionism and allowing yourself to prioritize can be another way a leader needs to adapt their skills. With a growing team, every checklist might not be finished by the end of the day. It's important to learn what matters most and achieve the ends that are worth more in the long run. Looking at the bigger picture and the broader spectrum of importance is a skill set that great leaders must learn.
People skills are also an important factor. With a leader's team growing, they'll be tasked with building self-reliant teams and hiring smaller scale leaders for those teams. Communicating well is paramount in these cases, while not micromanaging every little aspect along the way to success.
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What are the major types of leadership?
- Visionary: Inspiring your teams for a brighter future outlook, important for presenting new concepts or directions to employees or peers.
- Coaching: The ultimate goal of this skill is to assist in the development of staff member’s individual talents. This necessitates being involved in understanding your team on a personal level, what their motivations and inspirations are, and how to aid their desire for success.
- Affiliative: Encouraging workplace morale, this style is focused on motivating the group as a unit, but still keeping in mind individual roles among the team.
- Democratic: Valuing the opinion of the team under a leader creates an environment of trust and transparency, often utilizing the knowledge and expertise of the team for solutions to any problems. An environment that fosters staff opinion will motivate members to genuinely support the goals and agenda of the company.
- Pacesetting: This approach requires setting and enforcing the example, keeping one goal and vision in mind for the performance of employees. This method requires finesse, as team morale can be lowered if goals aren't achieved.
- Autocratic: Traditionally viewed as the boss-worker structure, where decisions are made and execution is the responsibility of employees. This method is necessary for companies where conformity is paramount, allowing for effective and unified execution.
- Commanding: Military style autocratic leadership; this method is often employed during times of crisis, but is ineffective in a general workplace environments.
- Laissez-faire: This style allows staff more minimal directions, allowing team members the tools to solve their own problems, when needed, and complete their work.
- Bureaucratic: Relying on the positions staff hold within their businesses to outline their responsibilities, this method is efficient and easy to control. However, the drawback is how hierarchical it can be.
- Servant: In this style, people are the resource, and their needs are the key to corporate success. This method touts that a satisfied team will produce good results.
While many of these methods are mixed and matched to different business needs, it's important to understand each one and where it could be utilized effectively. You can answers on many questions here emediaworld.com.