This article has been written by Colin Shaw, Senior Consultant within Professional Services at JPS Selection.
What type of Leader are you?
There are two common desired attributes in the projects that I take on:
1. They must be able to lead a team / project / division
2. They must fit into our culture
Whilst the second point is hard in itself to screen for, leadership style is often a good barometer. Thankfully one of my hobbies outside of the recruitment world (yes I have spare time), sees me teaching leadership to volunteers, so when it comes to getting the right type of leader I do feel I have a running start.
Generally, I place leaders into four categories; each of which are valid and effective methods; but in equal measure they can have a negative impact on the task and team.
Style 1: The Dictator / Manager
We’ve all had them, the ‘I say; you do’ type. This is great in time sensitive environments or with those in training to form a habit, but with more experienced staff it can feel unnecessary and demoralising.
Style 2: The Democrat
This is a more consultative approach, involving everyone in the decision making process, but still retaining responsibility for making the final call. This is great for the free flow of ideas and inclusion, but it is often slow and can lead to disappointment if certain ideas aren’t taken on board. For longer term goals this is an absolute winner.
Style 3: Laisse Fair
Often seen as a laid back approach, the leader delegates tasks to the team or individuals and allows them to come up with the solution without much direction or direct input. The leader is often on hand to provide advice and gives individuals responsibility. This is great in a mature working environment where individuals can be trusted to get tasks completed on time, however it can lead to missed deadlines and reduced productivity.
Style 4: Transformational
This is a leader who can clearly communicate a vision, which has often been devised in conjunction with their team. The leader then works with the team to achieve this vision. It can be great for the team to see the vision enacted and be part of it, but if the vision lacks detail and clear time scales it can be have negative consequences.
Think about your organisation, line manager and yourself, what leadership style best describes you and how does it reflect in the team performance and moral?
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