When it comes to leveling up in your career, style matters – and we’re not talking about your choice of fashion. We’re talking about the style in which you lead others.
Leadership skills are an essential part of your eligibility for moving up in the workplace. Afterall, it’s the leaders in the company that set the tone for a company’s overall success (or lack thereof). So how can you hone effective leadership skills? It starts by knowing your style and strengths. Keep reading as we help you unlock the type of leader you are to help you utilize your strengths and level-up in your career.
Why Does Leadership Style Matter?
Knowing your leadership style can help you see how you communicate and affect others under your direct influence. This includes how direct reports view you, along with what upper management sees in you. When others view you as an effective leader, the impact you have on a company and team’s performance is clear. On the flip side, if teammates view you as a weak or ineffective leader, you can quickly become the weakest link on the team. Not a good place to be.
Once you’re aware of how you lead stylistically, you can work on perfecting your manner, or shifting your approach to match a style you’d like to be more aligned with to grow your leadership skills.
Common Leadership Styles
Leadership styles range and transform as fast as the workforce. From authoritarian to coaches, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to effective leadership. However, there are usually four main “buckets” leaders fall into. Which resonates with you the most?
Some call it “old school,” others call it micromanagement. Either way, autocratic leadership is less common today, and, based on the means it takes to get to this level (think: punishment, threats, demands, orders, rules, and regulations), that’s probably a good thing.
Autocratic leaders typically have ultimate authority and power over others, making choices that fuel their own personal gains versus. seeking feedback or input from others.
Strengths: Fast decision makers; handle crisis situations effectively
Weaknesses: Stifles creativity; micromanagers
If you strive to be the “voice of the people,” democratic leadership style was designed for you. Centered around the thoughts and opinions of others, democratic leadership embraces teamwork and encourages curiosity and a need for finding unique solutions and diverse ways of solving problems.
Strengths: Encourages employee engagement; fosters a collaborative culture and teamwork
Weaknesses: Expert opinions can be outnumbered; decision making can be slow
Are you a great delegator and prefer a hands-off approach to management? If so, laissez-faire leadership may be your style. Also referred to as delegative leadership, this hands-off approach encourages teammates to make decisions on their own, often resulting in lower team productivity if leaders don’t stay on top of team check-ins and updates.
Strengths: Encourages personal growth; leaves plenty of room for innovation and ideas
Weaknesses: Passivity; low accountability
Have a knack for synthesizing information and goals, while also recharging and organizing teams to work toward a common goal? You just may be a transformational leader.
Transformational leaders have a style that inspires positive change and passion about the work being done. These leaders are both strategic and hands-on; able to get involved in any process or function to help every team member succeed.
Strengths: Charismatic; communicative
Weaknesses: Potential for burn-out; loses track of details
Every leadership style comes with strengths and weaknesses. The secret is to bolster your personal strengths, and lean into teammates that compliment your weaknesses. You’ll not only operate more efficiently, but also more effectively – a core component of leveling up in the workplace.