What’s Your Leadership Style? Rigid or Fluid?

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I won’t attempt to define leadership today. Nor do I plan to share tips on how to become a better leader. I have had my share of wins and losses as a leader. And, the journey is not yet over. Will it ever be? That question is for another day. This post is about you – your leadership style.

As a learner, and I am a continuous learner, I can vouch for one fact though. You will be setting up yourself and your team for failure if you have only one approach to leadership.

What is your leadership style?

Leaders are not operators. Rigidity kills your legacy.

Each person responds to a different stimulus. A rousing war like speech often becomes the most viral clip for leaders across politics, sports and military. A time tested leadership skill to provoke a desired response and motivate followers to act.

How often can a leader resort to this trick?

Not very often, you would agree. Maybe before the final match of a world cup. Or, an elimination game. Or, when your troops in the battlefield are outnumbered. Usually, when odds are stacked against you.

For other situations, battles and games – you would use a softer, less arousing monologue.

Now, what works for a group as one unit does not work in isolation for each member of the group. This is why you need a fluid leadership style.

What you say and How you say depends on the individual or group and the context.

Leadership in Business

At work, there are daily battles. A never ending war.

As a leader, you need to be aware of a few things – when to intervene, when not to? How to intervene? When to overlook and when not to? How to enable change? How to ensure compliance? How to develop skills and how to prepare future leaders?

You cannot use a fixed mould for people. Hence, a fluid approach is what serves you well. Get to know your people – what works for each one of them.

Some like explicit instructions. While a few others may just want to be shown the direction. They’ll figure out the rest.

Example of instructions to a team. Your leadership style needs to adjust for each individual.

Some crumble under pressure and choke when it’s a do or die situation. While there are those who bring out their A game in such situations.

Some like constant, constructive feedback. A few don’t like regular feedback and coaching. They would ask you when they need it.

So be self-aware as a leader. Each individual has a unique recipe for success. Give them what works for them – just like salt to taste.

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By Nitesh Verma

Founder - Business Management Blog. I am an independent business strategy consultant, helping companies take data driven business decisions. My mission is to find and implement simple solutions for complex business problems.

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