Servant, Courageous, Humble, Compassionate, Primal, Introverted,
Productive, Positive …
I googled leadership books and these are some of the adjectives that fit neatly into:
How to be a … leader.
The world is not in any way short on supply of leadership frameworks, styles, types and approaches. Reading as many of these as you can will give your leadership journey depth and breadth.
Wisdom is the discernment of knowledge: reading is one of the most cost effective professional development activities you can undertake. Wisdom is the discerning application of your knowledge.
Rather than getting overwhelmed with trying to determine what leadership approach is the best, it may prove more effective to start with three questions. By asking these questions you can take the best of many approaches and use them at the right time, for the right impact:
- What do we need to achieve?
- What’s happening right now?
- What’s the best way to engage the key stakeholders?
What do we need to achieve?
This may seem obvious from a broad day to day perspective yet there’s still value in stating this with clarity and confirming that your team are on the same page as to what is needed to be achieved.
Ensure the team understand the vision, mission and what’s expected of them.
What’s happening right now?
Where is the team at right now? What is helping or hindering their progress? What ideas do they have that can help improve processes, streamline throughputs, reduce challenges and costs? What further prompting questions do you need to ask, and listen to, in order to have a true grasp on the current status quo? What are your observations about the status quo?
What’s the best way to engage the key stakeholders?
Following the information from questions one and two, you can determine the style and approach that is needed. For example:
- Maybe you need to be visionary – providing the why and inspiration rather than the how.
- You may find the need to be a coach, helping the experts find their own most effective way to achieve what they need to achieve.
- Does the group need to come together as a team more so they can be more productive and effective, therefore, do you need to be a Team Builder.
The more you can learn about leadership styles, types and approaches and yourself the more capacity and self-efficacy you will have to handle the situations thrown at you. Working on your own self-awareness, for example, through emotional intelligence training can help equip you to have the flexibility in your style and approach for greater team leadership and performance.
Have you ever come away from a situation thinking you could have handled it differently or better?
Take a moment to think about what you would / will do differently next time?
This sort of reflection helps build your leadership approaches tool kit.