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Adapting Your Leadership Style for Improved Results

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

As leaders, each of us has a certain leadership style. Much of it stems from who we are at our core, flavored by the experiences and examples we’ve had on the journey here. With that said, it’s important for us to continue to learn new skills and adapt who we are based on our audience.

As we grow in our leadership role, we need to be very clear about our leadership competencies – both strengths and weaknesses. There are a gazillion leadership models out there. But what does leadership mean to you? Do you lead with vision? Do you lead with drive? Do you lead to deliver? Or do you lead through people? You probably tend toward one or two over the others, but you should have capability in all four competencies. The key is learning to flex them appropriately based on the situation.

Think of the best leader you’ve ever had. What do you think their leadership preference was – Vision, Drive, Deliver, or People? Now think…how well did they adapt to accommodate all four leadership competencies to be the best leader? Each person must flex at certain times to get the desired outcome. If a leader becomes too rigid in doing things their way, they may have people who are only following because they’re afraid of the consequences of doing otherwise. You and I both know that we don’t get the best out of our employees in a fear-based environment.

Our great leaders are clear about who they are as leaders, are capable of flexing when it makes sense, and are willing to hold their ground when it is right for the business. They have a backbone, and will make what they believe is the RIGHT decision, even if it’s not the POPULAR decision.

As a leader, you want people to follow you because they trust you, and because you are stretching them by providing opportunities they would not have without you. You want them to follow you because you have created a vision and they can see the connection between the organization’s goals and their own goals. People will stay…or leave…because of you. We’ve all heard about the Gallup Poll that found people don’t leave organizations, they leave their managers. If you are not willing to adapt your style, you will have a large exodus of employees. There are endless formulas for turnover costs. Let’s just use the one that says turnover costs for a mid-level employee equal 150% of that employee’s annual salary. That isn’t pretty for the bottom line, and won’t reflect very favorably on the leader.

So think about your people. How do you need to adapt these four competencies – Vision, Drive, Deliver, People – to ensure that you create and maintain an environment of trust and productivity for sustainable business results?

Want to learn more about leadership and communication styles? Check out our assessments at PeopleThink.biz.

Till next time,

Karen

Communication, Diversity, Leadership, Management, People, Professional and team leadership, Uncategorized

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