Firstly, I’m not writing this to imply that I’m a leader. Rather these are my observations from decades of meeting, working with and photographing hundreds men and women in diverse leadership roles. This includes political, business and spiritual leaders.
There are trends in leadership styles that come and go. The best leaders are those who are true to themselves and not emulating anybody else or what their MBA prescribes. The leaders who impacted on me were paternalistic and transformational in their style. That likely says as much about me as it does them. I believe we’re drawn to a specific leadership style based on our personality and circumstances. It may explain why organisations find new leaders when there’s a need to change the culture.
L E A D
Look at the first four letters of the word leadership. The best ones lead by example – from the front and their staff follow. Staff reflect the leader, demonstrating loyalty, pride, community and teamwork resulting in higher productivity that attracts the best people.
Some leaders push their staff using fear, threats and intimidation as well as reward and punishment. The results are reduced productivity, unmotivated staff, more sick leave, and a mass exodus of talent. Those who remain often include the sycophants and those who have no choice.
Who and where you lead will dictate different styles of leadership. A military leader in a war zone will be different to a human rights activist.
Leaders are all around us and includes you. It may be the leader of your family or a sporting team. Principals are certainly leaders as are teachers, doctors and lead nurses. In my career I’ve had several leadership roles from middle management to leading an organisation where I preferred a democratic style.
Please share your positive experience with leaders on Linkedin, either as a leader yourself or working with someone who influenced you.