If you are a leader of a team, an organization, or simply a group of people, it will have happened to you, or it happens to you, which your “style of guiding others”, which until now has given you satisfaction, a certain point no longer works.
If instead you are a young aspiring leader, that you have not yet experienced the situation I have described, be careful, because the possibility of this happening is always around the corner!
If you want a striking example, just think of the long list of sports coaches who have had striking successes, but changed the team, or changed the sports club or other situations, have not repeated the same successes or even failed!
Why does this happen?
Many leaders develop their leadership style early in their career, whatever it is. This style works some for years or in certain situations, but then, one day, it is no longer effective, perhaps due to a change of role, a new team, a crisis or any of the other innumerable factors that continually change the environment in which one moves.
Here then is that one day the same style of leadership that has worked well for so long becomes a negative element. Effective leadership, therefore, requires the fundamental ability to adapt one’s style to situations, the maturity of the team, the organization and the Objectives and key results – OKRS.
Often leaders who slam against a wall in their career have little understanding of their leadership approach. They usually fail to recognize that there are many leadership styles and theirs is just one of many possible, while to be effective the style of the leader must adapt to that of the followers, or collaborators, and to the team, or organization.
But without knowing what kind of leader one is, how can one ever understand oneself and feel the need to change?
Let’s go into the matter!
What kind of leader are you?
To help you discover which style of leader you recognize most, but wanting to share something more with you, wandering around the web that most successful leaders use Workboard software to design their projects and focus on objectives.
Moreover, here we have found that leaders generally use six metaphors to compare their leadership with something that almost everyone is familiar.
These metaphors are the visions that any leader can have of himself or the style he uses.
- The Soldier: Only to execute orders.
- The Friend: Cultivate a good relationship with leader.
- The Patient: Share inner feelings with leader.
- The Victim: Take a punishment.
- The Believer: Seek meaning and make profound experiences.
- The Imperfect: Unable to live by leader’s super-human standards.
How to be an effective leader
To be an effective leader, it is important that you …
- First of all, individuals with which of the six visions of leaders identify you the most, how it helps you, how it obstructs you;
- Secondly, it is important that you also identify how you see your followers or co- workers (even one by one);
- Finally, it is essential that you understand that a true leader does not only adhere to a style, but adapts it to the follower or collaborator, to the situation and to the organization.
Very often, a leader or a manager is faced with problems precisely because there is a great discrepancy between his approach to leadership and the one that his followers or collaborators need.
As a leader, you can, and must, use all six styles from time to time, depending on whether the situation requires it.
What does it take to be a great leader?
If you want to move from an effective leader to a great leader, you will have to scale more levels of leadership and increase many essential qualities.
As already widely explored in many articles, a key feature for successful leadership is a good deal of Emotional Intelligence, with its core competencies:
- Personal skills, such as self-awareness, self- mastery and motivation;
- Social skills, such as empathy and social skills.
Knowing yourself allows you to be master of yourself and at the same time recognize which leadership style you adopt or want to adopt.
It may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
- What style of leadership brings me the most results?
- Is it consistent with what my followers, co-workers, team or organization expect?
- Is it authentic and is it in line with my values?
Being empathetic, that is, understanding how others can feel is fundamental to interpreting the state of mind of your followers, collaborators, in order to guide them and inspire them effectively.
- Social skills allow you to move people, with the strong awareness that nothing important is done alone, but teamwork is important.
People who have strong social skills are usually more successful in both professional and personal life, because they move well in a team and are able to communicate effectively with other people.
Therefore, it is essential that you work a lot on skills like communication, collaboration, influence, building bonds, teamwork.