What type of leader are you or do you aspire to be?
What’s your style? Choose from the below:-
- I like to reward my subordinate for the effort made by him/her. Mine is an effort/reward relationship
- I want my team members to succeed and I care about them deeply. Mine is a relationship where I feel responsible for my team member’s development
- I neither guide nor provide feedback to my team. Mine is a hands off relationship
Do you know any person who has any of the above styles? In academic literature, style (1) is called ‘transactional’ leadership, style (2) is transformational and style (3) is laissez-faire. There are many more styles like situational, authentic etc. A good book that covers Leadership or a search on the web will give you the answers. But, wait don’t go surfing or buying that book yet…
All the styles could be right or wrong…
A transactional style often assumes that the employee is supposed to do his job for which he gets paid a salary and bonus. A transformational style adds enthusiasm and energy to work and often inspires the employee. A laissez – faire style is allowing the employee to go ahead and do the job without offering any guidance
Obviously, we all want to work with or be a transformational leader but…for some, we are yet to get the opportunity. Besides, each style is good for a particular situation. A transformational leader is usually set on a journey to “transform”.
So this style is great when leading transformations at work but what after the transformation or inspiring followers is done with? You can and should move on to another assignment that is adrenalin pumping and gets the creative juices flowing. But you have to be clear about your purpose and goal.
I recently read this article on practicing ‘Mindfulness in Leadership’. The practice of mindfulness gives you greater clarity to be attentive to things that matter, maintain life balance without stress and be and become an authentic leader. So choose your mindfulness practice whether walking or meditation and see the difference!
Coming back to leadership, here is a friend’s recent experience…
My friend’s manager tells her, that he needs something done that requires her expertise…and says “get to it as soon as you can” and later during her day at work lands up at her desk every 20 mins to ask her about the progress she is making.
This may sound familiar to some! This is a style that reflects an internal trait that this manager possesses. Leadership development training programs can teach one, the basics, but practical application, well that requires self- awareness and a desire to be a true leader. Being a leader is difficult…
Leadership is a juggling act which has to be mastered and presented carefully. There are people to inspire and look after, decisions (sometimes very tough) to be made, shareholders to manage and your own personal goals to satisfy.
According to me, the most important behavior is honesty – be true to yourself and true to your work and colleagues. It is easy to get sucked into doing something wrong but soon you could become a white collar criminal like people at Enron.
And most importantly – ‘ look after your people’…that’s what makes you a TRUE LEADER…