Know Thy Leadership

One of the most important ways you need to know yourself is by knowing your leadership style. How does who you are impact others?

There’s a well-known framework for leadership styles (review articles here and here for more information) that sketches out six different ways of being in terms of leadership:

- Coercive — demands compliance; the “do what I tell you” leader
- Authoritative — mobilizes people by communicating a vision; the “come with me” leader
- Coaching — focused on people’s future potential; the “try this” leader
- Pacesetter — “expects and models excellence and self-direction” — good for an already skilled team; the “try to beat me” leader
- Democratic — gets everyone to participate; the “what do you think?” leader
- Affiliative — builds bonds & relationships to build performance; the “people come first” leader

This framework has helped me to recognize blind spots in my leadership approach, approaches I naturally take which may not be healthy for all the members of the team or may not be a good fit for the current moment. And unfortunately, this year was tough, because although one of my affirmations was that I am a gifted leader, I became increasingly aware that I used the pacesetter approach, which was not always a good fit for building a new team or working in stressful, shifting environments, like initiatives requiring innovation.

Photo by Amar Yashlaha on Unsplash

Food for thought: How well do you know yourself on the leadership framework above?

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