What is Your Leadership Style?
According to the Wall Street Journal, leadership is "less about your needs and more about the needs of the people and the organization you are leading." Thus the leadership style and strategies that are most effective will vary based on the situation (as well as its inherent challenges) and your audience.
While most of us cannot provide everything to everyone, this is exactly what leaders strive for. They must provide assistance, direction, motivation, inspiration and more to people in numerous situations. The keys to effective leadership are understanding your choices for leadership styles, how and when to use them, and then knowing how to measure your leadership success so that you can later refine your tactics as needed.
Three Popular Leadership Styles
1. Visionary - This style is most effective when a business is moving in a new direction. Creating goals and providing inspiration for the employees in your company is the sole focus of visionary leadership. This type of leader has a solid vision of the future and is able to effectively communicate that vision.
2. Transactional - Effective leaders are not just visionaries, they are transactional when necessary. Transactional leaders develop and implement precise business goals and procedures while aiming to motivate employees with pre-determined reward and punishment structures.
3. Democratic - Democratic leaders draw on the skills, knowledge and experience of his or her executive staff and management when they want advice. Great leaders know their limitations and weaknesses. Therefore, they surround themselves with people that have the skills, knowledge and experience to fill those gaps.
Effective leaders know how and when to use these leadership styles, along with other styles and strategies, to influence the people and situations around them. Truly effective leaders must know when a new vision is needed, how to solve specific problems and surround themselves with highly-skilled, highly-experienced executives and managers from which they can draw additional understanding and solutions.
Measuring Leadership Success
There are many different measures for successful leadership. However, a common measure is return on investment, or ROI. For every dollar spent on change, is the company seeing an acceptable increase in revenue? Many variables affect a leader's ROI, such as employee morale and turn-over ratio, and these variables will need to be accounted for when calculating ROI and determining whether a leader has been or will continue to be successful.
If the science or psychology of leadership interests you, consider the following programs at Argosy University, Online Programs: