One of my favorite topics has always been Leadership Development. I’m an avid reader of Self-Help & Relationships books. I seem to gravitate to this section in any bookstore because it resonates with my natural ability to connect with people and build valuable relationships. In fact, my favorite author is John Maxwell; which is no surprise for someone who enjoys lessons on leadership.
In my journey of coaching leadership and building well-working teams, I have discovered that leaders don’t often realize that their leadership style impacts the team’s level of development. It’s true!
If you are seeking change within your organization, but can’t seem to build momentum or establish positive morale while undergoing the change, have you thought for just a moment that it may be a result of your leadership style?
Now leadership styles vary. It truly depends on the approach of leadership you preferably subscribe to. My favorite is Situational Leadership because it clearly defines the role of a leader to impact the development level of team members. Keep in mind that no leadership style is perfect. Also, note that neither style is more or less effective than another. The reality is, your ability to get desired results from the team depend upon the outward expression of your leadership style.
What does this mean?…..Have you heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it!” I have. In fact, I heard it more often than not in my early years of management. At that time, I was developing as a leader and thought my title and position with the company defined me as a leader. But it doesn’t……Leadership is a behavior. Leadership is NOT a position, title, tenure with the company, or perfection. But because I thought in this manner at that time, I exhibited strong directive leadership which was ineffective. Of course, I eventually learned that in order to get the team to achieve desired results, I had to change the outward expression of my leadership style by adding balance to become more supportive toward team members. This ultimately resulted in a change to the way I led teams – change in leadership style, and it resulted in a change in the development level of the team.
It will always be true that change for the team is uncomfortable. This is also true of the simplest things. For example, when you go to the movies you choose what’s considered to be the best seat in the house. Well, let’s say the theater is now crowded and a group of four come in late. This group notices three seats to your left and one seat to your right. You might immediately think….”don’t ask me to move over!” Why? Because that requires you to change by giving up “your seat” (you have somehow now taken ownership of….), and move to the next one. You might even say to yourself, “they should have arrived on time!” Right? or Wrong?……. Change is uncomfortable.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to create an environment that encourages change which typically results in forwarding progression of the organization. Don’t make it more challenging for the team by choosing to not self-check and ask yourself, “is the outward expression of my leadership style impairing my team from achieving desired results?” You want the results, so go after them. Lead the organization to change, or change the way you lead and the results will follow.
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written by Chanel L. Fort, The Learning Strategist