Recently, I’ve been re-analyzing different leadership styles of those in power of my former and current organizations. I originally covered this subject back in 2008 after reading a book on the subject. Regardless as to how I apply myself to my subordinates or how superiors react to me, everyone can be aligned with one of seven leadership styles. Sure, I’ll hear debate that there are 6, 4… I believe this (alphabetically sorted) list covered the basics.
- Autocratic – To make a decision without input from others.
- Coaching – To provide instruction to others.
- Consensus – To problem solve by a group as a whole.
- Consultative – To invite others to provide ideas.
- Directing – To give authoritative instructions to.
- Facilitating – To coordinate or expedite.
- Supporting – To provide assistance during the process.
I’ve been in the position where those above me in the org chart were very autocratic. We’ve all been there and I’m happy that situation is in my past. Having a consensus is not always the correct answer either. When you open the decision to be made by a group, in order to make everyone happy, you commonly just agitate everyone. Sure, leading by committee can work for some companies but I’ve never seen it work really well for an individual. Make your own decisions. I would recommend doing more directing at the beginning of a project. Do more coaching, facilitating, and supporting later.
Managers are those who need to do things well. Leaders are those who need to do the right thing. For the most part, I agree with the list. But, on the grand scale of things, I think other interpersonal skills are more important. Both effective decision making skills and being influential come to mind.
So, what do you think?