Every Leader or Manager has a natural style of leadership - a "personality" - that is innate in them all.
However, the most successful leaders are chameleons: they can take on the role of Directors, Facilitators or Motivators depending on what challenges they are facing at the time.
The skill to leading a team or company successfully is to adapt your own natural leadership style accordingly - in order to get the best results every time. Not everyone will find this easy but the key to effective leadership is to learn to do it.
Let's look at various scenarios that a business or team leader may face and see how by adapting your style in each case you will achieve the best results.
In a crisis situation - where time factors are critical - taking a directive stance (i.e. "telling" staff what to do) may be the quickest way to resolve the problem. In situations like these business reputations (maybe the reputation of your own business) could be at stake. As a Leader it is your role to ensure that any damage is limited and critical operations run smoothly while you are resolving the problem.
When crises at work happen, your staff will look to you for guidance. They may be experienced professionals within their own job roles but, here, you must lead them. This is no time for group discussion or procrastination.
Make firm decisions that you know will succeed and stick to them. Your team need to feel secure that the crisis is being managed.
In times of change - say where a company is merging with another - the best leaders are confident and visionary. It is up to you to ask your team to have faith in the vision - to have faith in you. Times of change - even if they represent a huge opportunity for the business - can be very worrying.
Here, it is the Leader's responsibility to enthuse others. To nurture team bonding, which enables your colleagues to adapt and change as their future becomes clearer and more secure.
There will also be times where your team will be the best placed to solve problems - as they have the knowledge and experience - but they will still need you to empower them to makes those choices.So, the Facilitator in you must come out now, providing the team with the tools and techniques they need to move forward.
Whether it is guiding a small team or a large organisation, anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills should be aware of the influence that they have on team success. Personality, experience and excellent communication skills coupled with a clear vision all combine to make leaders successful and admired.
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