1. An Authentic Leadership Style – is when there is matching of your own personal purpose with that of the organisation in which you’re leading. Because that means you can bring yourself through the door each morning and not pretend be something or someone else. And this in turn means that you can be transparent and intuitive in order to create the trust required to get the right level of engagement from your team. So, does your purpose resonate with your organisation’s purpose or is there significant mismatch?
2. High EQ Leadership Style – is when there is a matching of your own personal emotional intelligence with that required of your leadership role in your organisation. You can be an expert in your field and be personally brilliant with the most making CV but without a high level of emotional intelligence you can alienate the people you’re working with. And this means they don’t feel heard and stop engaging with you and even with the organisation if they see you as its representative. At its worst and most extreme this results in a fear and blame based culture where there’s no sharing of ideas or meetings of minds. Because there’s no empathy and therefore no trust.
3. Servant Leadership Style – is when you as the leader support those you’re leading to be the best that they can be. Because they put the success of the team at the heart of making the organisation successful, not their own success. This style is also known as ‘humble leadership’ because the style of the leader is one of humility, acting that they don’t have all the answers. Indeed, it’s recognising that the people who normally have the answers aren’t the leaders but the people who experience the problem day after day. And these people can include employees at all levels in the organisation and customers outside the organisation and everyone in between.
4. Work-In-Progress Leadership Style – is when you ask for feedback on your performance so that you can be challenged to learn, grow and make improvements. This has two benefits: it demonstrates to those asked for feedback that they are respected and their opinions and viewpoint matters; and that feedback is to be welcomed as a strength not feared as a weakness. This then forms the basis for a continuous improvement culture in the organisation.
5. Conscious Leadership Style – is when you respond to other people with a conscious pause giving appropriate time to consider all the options and not an unconscious knee-jerk habitual reaction. This style is all about slowing down and turning down the volume, reflecting thoughtfulness, respect and compassion. And is the opposite from the all guns blazing stressed-out quick-fire responses so often seen and heard in leaders.
6. Democratic Leadership Style – is when you ask for their team’s input before you make any final decisions and you appear to the team more as a fellow team member than a traditional command-and-control leader. This has two distinct benefits: fellow team members feel empowered and so contribute more; and this means that there is more team and organisational harmony with results being delivered in line with expectations.
7. Creative Leadership Style – is when you value creativity in others including yourself and is the opposite from the ‘creative dictatorship’ style of leadership. This is achieved by setting the culture and conditions to get the best level creativity out of everyone in the team. So everyone in the team is clear on their purpose, that they achieve most when they collaborate and learn together.
8. Positive Leadership Style – is when you are upbeat and energised because this becomes contagious and everyone’s performance improves together as a result. And it all starts with you as the leader feeling inspired. And that in turn makes you want others to feel inspired with the same level of optimism and positivity.
Of course, even though your style may be predominantly one of these eight, we all know that flexibility of style is required because of all the different people and situations confronting twenty first century leaders.