The subject of leadership styles is undeniably one that sparks diverse discussions.
Depending on the sources you consult, you might encounter various categorisations, with some condensing these styles into six common types and others expanding them to over ten.
Allow me to share my curated seven styles:
1. Autocratic (the authoritative "do as I say" stance)
2. Democratic (embracing the inclusive "what do you think" approach)
3. Laissez-faire (adopting a hands-off, delegatory method)
4. Servant (prioritizing others' needs with the "what do you need?" mindset)
5. Transactional (focusing on results through a structured approach)
6. Transformational/Coaching (investing in long-term growth and development)
7. Visionary (leading with a clear, inspiring direction)
Curiously, I find myself frequently asked about my own leadership style. It seems people are eager to gain insight into the core of my approach.
Today, I cordially invite you to join me in a reflective dialogue – perhaps over a drink – as I share my perspectives, lived experiences, and warmly welcome your thoughts.
It's imperative to recognize that each style bears its strengths and limitations, akin to a double-edged sword. My belief centers on the idea that the context often shapes the efficacy of a particular style. Just as different tools are required for various tasks, distinct scenarios call for the prominence of certain leadership styles.
While I naturally incorporate a blend of these diverse styles, my guiding principle in leadership decisions remains anchored in the principles of fairness and firmness. If I were to distill my preferred style from the aforementioned list, the visionary approach resonates most profoundly with me. However, permit me to shed light on my journey.
I didn't always embody the leadership persona that you see today. This path of leadership wasn't innate, nor was it a fixed identity. Instead, it has been an ongoing evolution – a journey of refinement and development that continues to shape my leadership approach. For instance, during critical junctures, I instinctively lead from the front, showcasing courage by immersing myself in the situation. Conversely, in team settings, I embrace the role of a visionary, painting a vivid picture of the future path and inspiring my colleagues to rally around our shared purpose. Yet, I'm equally adept at adapting my approach, adopting coaching, democratic, servant, or even hands-off roles based on the unique demands of each circumstance.
My expedition commenced at a tender age. Serving as second-in-command for an entertainment company during my high school years introduced me to leadership responsibilities. This experience matured further during my university tenure, as I assumed roles encompassing recruitment, training, and team leadership.
I had a diverse team, representing a spectrum of backgrounds and expertise, looking to me for guidance. Although I wouldn't claim to have been an exemplar leader during those early stages, a persistent drive urged me to demonstrate that leadership excellence could indeed be cultivated.
In pursuit of this aspiration, I invested countless hours amidst textbooks and lectures, delving into self-help and management literature. I keenly observed the leaders I admired, absorbing their lessons and endeavoring to apply them practically. This pursuit of cultivating leadership excellence took precedence for me. Over time, I honed the skill of deciphering individuals, customizing my approach for optimal effectiveness. I refined the art of swiftly building trust and fostering respect in every interaction. This journey became an engrossing game – one that honed my ability to set boundaries, detach from detrimental situations, and channel my energy purposefully.
The influences of those surrounding me played a pivotal role in shaping my identity. Recognizing this, I've grown particular about curating my inner circle. Amidst the array of attributes and skills I've assimilated, my belief in the pivotal role of effective communication, trust and positivity remains unwavering.
Regarding my path of leadership development, it initiated early on. I meticulously recorded the qualities, values, and traits of leaders I admired. With time, these notations metamorphosed into guiding principles that seamlessly integrate into my daily life. Observing how these esteemed leaders embodied these qualities, I actively sought mentorship from individuals who exemplified these attributes. As I matured, the scope of my influence broadened, fostering an environment in which each individual offers a distinct lesson worth imbibing.
I must emphasise that no one person embodies all the traits I value. Therefore, I glean specific attributes and values from different individuals, creating a mosaic that resonates most authentically with me. Furthermore, beyond admiring qualities, I vigilantly seek inconsistencies to refine my selection.
As we delve into this conversation, I'm genuinely intrigued by your leadership style. How did you craft it, and where do you stand in the age-old discourse – are leaders born or nurtured? Your insights are poised to add a valuable layer to this enriching discourse.