Discover Your Path to Successful Leadership
Posted January 12, 2024

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By Monica Hoyer

In today’s dynamic landscape, you may find yourself at a point where leadership skills play a pivotal role in your career advancement. Understanding and adopting the right leadership style can make all the difference. In this blog post, we’ll dive into different leadership styles to empower you to become a more effective and influential leader.

Why Leadership Style Matters

Leadership style is the unique approach a person takes to guide and motivate others. It influences how decisions are made, conflicts are resolved, and goals are achieved within a team or organization.

Recognizing the impact of your energy and leadership style on team dynamics, productivity, and your team’s job satisfaction is a powerful tool in your career advancement.

There are two types of energy – anabolic and catabolic. Anabolic energy is creative and fueling whereas catabolic is destructive and stressful energy. Both can be effective when you discern your feelings.

When you can identify the type of energy you are experiencing, it becomes easier to adapt to situations depending on the outcome you would like.

Identifying Your Current Style

The first step in refining your leadership approach is to identify your current leadership style. You’ll also want to evaluate the energy you bring to situations.

Reflect on past experiences to assess how you typically make decisions. Take into consideration the feedback received from colleagues. Are you more authoritative, democratic, or transformational? Recognizing your default style is the first step toward growth.

Comparing Leadership Styles

Let’s start by exploring three different leadership styles and understanding their characteristics. The three prominent leadership styles we are exploring here are Authoritarian, Democratic, and Transformational. They each have distinct attributes, effects, benefits, and drawbacks on team dynamics.

1. Authoritarian Leadership

Authoritarian leaders are decisive and make decisions independently. They provide clear expectations and guidelines for their team members to follow. While this style can be effective in certain situations, it may stifle creativity and limit employee engagement long term.

This style is more catabolic in that it doesn’t allow for much creativity or enjoyment for the team. A leader may use this style to push through any conflict and get projects done. While it can be a good thing to get the team to move forward, there could be underlying issues that don’t get addressed. Those issues can continue to show up if not resolved.

Benefits:

  • Authoritarian leaders make decisions rapidly without waiting for consensus.
  • Team members receive clear instructions and guidelines, reducing confusion.

Drawbacks:

  • Team members may feel disempowered, leading to lower morale and job satisfaction.
  • The rigid structure may stifle innovation and creative problem-solving.

Ask yourself: Do I value control and direction, or is flexibility and collaboration more important to achieve goals?

2. Democratic Leadership

Democratic leaders encourage collaboration and seek input from team members when making decisions. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among team members. 

Democratic leadership is more anabolic in that it allows not only the leader but also the team to get creative and find solutions to problems. When decision-making involves the entire team, goal completion could take longer since you need buy-in from everyone.

Benefits:

  • Engaged team members who feel valued which leads to increased job satisfaction.
  • Decision-making benefits from a variety of perspectives, often resulting in well-rounded choices.

Drawbacks:

  • The democratic process can be time-consuming as it needs to take into account everyone’s opinion.
  • Differing opinions may lead to conflicts if not managed effectively.

Action: Reflect on your comfort with shared decision-making. Consider whether involving the team in the decision process aligns with your leadership vision.

3. Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their teams by fostering a shared vision and encouraging personal growth. This style emphasizes innovation, creativity, and a strong commitment to organizational values. 

Transformational leaders inspire their teams which makes this style anabolic. There is very little stress in an organization when transformational leadership is at play.

Benefits:

  • Transformational leaders foster a sense of purpose and commitment – they inspire their teams.
  • The emphasis on personal growth encourages innovative thinking and problem-solving.

Drawbacks:

  • Leaders may take too many risks and don’t balance that with logic.
  • Some team members may resist the constant push for transformation.

Action: Assess your ability to inspire and motivate others, considering whether you prioritize personal development and innovation within your leadership philosophy.

Choosing Your Path

Now that you have a better understanding of three leadership styles, you can make informed decisions about the type of leader you aspire to be. While each style has its merits, a successful leader can draw on the most effective style to achieve the goal while meeting the team’s needs.

The Energy Leadership Index Assessment can give you insight into your leadership style

and help you identify areas where you want to improve.

1. Flexibility is Key

Leadership is not one-size-fits-all. Effective leaders adapt their style to the demands of the situation. When you recognize that different circumstances call for different approaches you become a more effective leader.

2. Aligning Values and Vision

Aligning your personal values and professional vision with your leadership style is crucial. Authentic leaders foster a culture of innovation and prioritize collaboration. So it’s important to choose a style that resonates with your individual beliefs.

3. Continuous Learning

Leadership is a journey of continuous learning and growth. Actively seeking opportunities for professional development, mentorship, and feedback is key to growth. A commitment to learning allows you to refine your skills and stay adaptable in an ever-evolving landscape.

Conclusion

In the quest to up your leadership game, acknowledge that self-discovery and exploration are where you need to start. By understanding leadership styles, reflecting on personal strengths and weaknesses, and embracing a flexible and values-driven approach, you can pave the way for impactful leadership. Remember, leadership is not about a title or position; it’s about inspiring and empowering others to achieve collective success.

When you’re ready to explore your leadership style and how to move your career forward, a Ressmeyer Partner coach can help.

“We either grow or we die.”

iPEC Foundation Principle

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