How do you define leadership? Are you using your gifts and talents to properly lead?
Webster defines leadership as “providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people.” Today, I’d like to dive into these 3 aspects of leadership and match them up with the 4 main leadership styles: Director, Expresser, Thinker, Harmonizer1. Each of us naturally default to one of these techniques. Issues can arise when the person you are leading doesn’t “match up” with your default style.
It’s important to be aware of those you are leading and how they can best receive your leadership. Let’s define these roles and how to maximize your influence!
Director leaders are strong in goal setting, risk-taking and making quick decisions. However, these type of leaders tend to make abrupt decisions and lack the details of communication.
If you or your “student” can relate to this type of leadership style, focus your energy on giving a decision time to process. Quite often, issues work themselves out over time. You may also want to create a habit of including at least 3 details when giving someone direction.
These type of leaders are very “idea-oriented”, fun and do very well with people. You may find that this style of leader lacks clear priorities, has difficulty with follow through and commitment.
If you or your “student” can relate to this style of leadership, start by verbalizing and notating the top priority of the idea at hand. Continue reminding yourself of that priority and hold yourself accountable to following through with the chosen idea. Staying committed to follow-through is vital if you expect others to follow.
Thinker leaders focus on the facts, precision and quality control. Areas to watch out for with this type of leader is an unwillingness to take risks, missing deadlines and the inability to see the big picture.
If you or your “student” can relate to this type of leader, center your attention around thinking bigger than the individual task at hand. Verbalize and notate “the big picture” so projects aren’t taken in the wrong direction. Stay focused on the deadline and be willing to take risks in order to accomplish the end result.
Harmonizer leaders are relationship-oriented with their main emphasis on team. They are friendly and loyal to the cause. These attributes can cause them to avoid change which slows down decision making.
If you or your “student” can relate, I want to encourage you to embrace healthy conflict. It is also important to have a clear understanding of your purpose in each project and be confident in the decisions you make.
Identifying and understanding each leadership style will help you avoid making assumptions about others. Effective leaders are aware of the need to change leadership styles depending on the project at hand. Some situations call for us to be more directive while other circumstances need empathy.
I want to challenge you to find your leadership strengths and the strengths of those around you. Be vulnerable and open with yourself and others. Be confident in who you are and BE CONTAGIOUS!