There are a lot of different styles of leadership and leaders can be effective using any of them – there is no one size fits all model for success.
Some might study the leadership styles of others, but it’s more important to develop your natural way of leading that plays to your strengths. Effective leaders figure out the best way to build trust, instill hope, show compassion and provide a stable and solid environment where people can thrive and achieve team goals. The question is how do you develop your leadership style and authentic voice?
I recently worked with a client who was referred to as a “quiet” leader (he managed a sales team) and his manager wanted him to share his voice more so people could appreciate his insights. Where some leaders are the first in a meeting to offer their point of view or decide what the team is going to do, others like to listen first. Both approaches can make an impact – the work is in gaining clarity on what you do well and how you can apply your strengths to gain credibility and results as a leader.
When I work with leaders who manage a team, we focus on developing their personal style of leadership. Each person needs to be able to clearly and confidently identify this. Leaders also need to be aware of how their leadership style is working and what their team needs them to do more or to do less.
You may be a hands on leader who likes to get into the details with your team or more of a distant leader who shares the goal and then checks in every once in a while to see how the project is progressing. Although there is no perfect path for leadership, you can create your personal and authentic brand to drive performance and engagement.
A few key things to think about when trying to improve your leadership are:
- How do you build trust as a leader?
- What strengths help you excel as a leader?
- What steps can you take to best partner with the people on your team?
- What’s the process for developing each person and connecting one to one?
- What do you do to motivate your team and recognise them for their contributions?
- What actions do you take to help your team identify and use their strengths daily?
- What do you do to build a stable yet inspiring environment where people have the confidence to do what they are best at?
Leaders need to deliver consistent outcomes and motivate their team by leveraging strengths and aligning them with meaningful goals. There are no simple formulas to being an effective leader but there are specific questions each leader can address to make the biggest impact and develop their team. If you really want to develop as a leader, define your personal leadership brand and you’ll be one step closer to success.
How do you define your personal brand of leadership and what helps you be successful? Let us know in the comments below.