Unlocking High Performance with the Right Leadership Style
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The Executive Summary:
There are four key leadership styles that, when used to develop team members, help create sustainable high-performance.
We each have our default styles, and it's useful to know which styles we avoid, and why.
We should only adapt our style once we've established a baseline of skill and will for each individual.
As a business leader, manager, or team leader, managing people is usually the most complex and demotivating of all the challenges that you face. One of the most important aspects of leading a team is recognising that every employee requires, and is worthy of, a tailored approach. Adjusting your leadership style to suit each team member's stage of development is crucial in order to unleash their full potential and foster an environment of growth and success. In our Liberating Leadership Programme, we refer to this ability as Situational Consistency – the capacity to flex your leadership style in harmony with a team member's developmental needs.
Failing to adapt your leadership style to the needs of your employees can lead to a plethora of issues, including stifled creativity, disengagement, and reduced productivity. It may also hinder team members from reaching their full potential, ultimately impacting the overall success of your business. Therefore, it is vital to embrace Situational Consistency, ensuring that your leadership style evolves in tandem with the growth and development of your team. By doing so, you will create a more motivated, innovative, and high-performing workforce, paving the way for long-term business success.
Let's dive into four essential leadership styles and how they can help you and your team reach new heights:
Directing: There are times when a directive approach is essential, especially when dealing with inexperienced new hires or urgent situations. By communicating clear instructions and expectations, you can ensure time efficiency and reduce mistakes. However, be cautious, as overusing this style may stifle creativity and collaboration.
Coaching: As your team gains basic competence in their tasks, adopting a coaching leadership style can be highly beneficial. While you retain control of decisions, being open to opinions and judgements demonstrates trust and support. This style encourages your team to take on more responsibility and put forth their best effort.
Mentoring: When your employees are competent and skilled in their roles, the mentoring approach can foster creativity and innovation. By allowing your team members to take full responsibility for their tasks while providing guidance and advice, you can tap into their unique skill sets and drive productivity.
Delegating: The ultimate goal for any leader is to delegate tasks effectively. This style is ideal for self-directed, experienced, and confident employees, allowing them to showcase their innovation and creativity. As you focus on the bigger picture, your team will excel in handling the details.
We each have our default leadership styles, a preference for one or more of the above, and a tendency to avoid others. But, imagine your four leadership styles are like a 4-speed gearbox in your car. Would you only use 2 of the 4 gears? Are you using those gears in the right situations? If you want to know your preferences and test your skill at picking the right style for the right scenario, take a look at our Liberating Leadership Programme. It's not just about knowing which gear to pick, but believing it's in the interest of everyone to do so. And only adapt our style once we've established a baseline of the individual's skill and will.