Leadership Strategy - Which Leadership Style to Follow?

Without an effective leadership strategy, it is believed, that the organizational strategies do not work.

Best players in a team do not guarantee success without a great coach, similarly, work teams may not function effectively if leaders do not follow an appropriate leadership strategy.

To understand leadership styles here are three scenarios:

Scenario 1 - A Teacher gives a question to the class full of students, however, solves it for them;

Scenario 2 - A Teacher gives the question to the students and observes how students solve them;

Scenario 3 - A Teacher gives a question to the students and moves around the class, observes the students, and helps wherever required.

Scenario 1 was “Leading from the Front”, Scenario 2 was “Supportive Leadership Style”, and Scenario 3 was “Interactive Leadership Style”. Besides this the leadership styles/strategies could be based on personality traits like Directive Leadership, Structured Leadership, Intuitive Leadership, or Process Driven leadership.

Here are some tips while selecting leadership strategy/style:

  • A leader must be aware of his/her personality traits and those of his team members/followers to understand which leadership style will be most effective.

  • A leader may not adopt a consistent leadership all through his/her career.

    Situational Leadership helps addressing varied needs/expectations of the followers as the leader adopts a strategy based on a situation he/she is in. In case a leader has a self-reliant team, he/she needs to be using a directive leadership style or lead form the front. He/She could instead delegate and provide inputs where necessary.

  • A common mistake especially a lot of new leaders make is to copy established/well know leaders. Remember, each situation is unique and so are the followers. A leadership style which may be suited to a well known leader may not be appropriate for your team. Make no mistake here - do not try and imitate other leaders.

  • A leader will never be afraid of trying new approach to solve a work problem or address a conflicting situation. It is quite a possibility that a leader adopts a style that is not by the book.

  • A leader must keep enhancing his/her leadership skills. While on the job experience matters a lot, getting enrolled into leadership courses after detailed evaluation of the program and feedback of the participants will help implementing a leadership style more effectively.

It is often said that good leaders are born and not made; however, good leaders are those who are aware of their personality traits and also of their followers. They know which leadership style is to be adopted in a particular situation. Once this is done, there is a little challenge left for a leader to become a “good/great” leader.

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