Flexible Use of Leadership Styles
Monday, November 1st, 2010
Adaptability is Critical
The most effective leaders are those who can flexibly use a range of leadership styles when appropriate. Many leaders have a dominant style of leadership. However effective leaders are aware that when dealing with different types of people and situations, using only their dominant style may not always get the best results.
Traditionally many leaders applied a commanding leadership style. This is a ‘do it because I say so’ approach and was more common 50 years ago than it is today. In a crisis situation or where a company is failing and needs an urgent turnaround, the commanding style can work well, at least in the short term.
In the past commanding leadership worked because of the hierarchical structure of organisations and the willingness of staff to carry out orders, usually without question. Today’s firms and companies are structured differently and peoples’ expectations of how they are managed and led are dramatically different. Leaders today require a great deal more flexibility in their leadership style to successfully support and retain motivated employees so that business remains competitive and profitable.
To motivate, drive and lead people today requires an ability to tune into and respond to the needs and emotions of individuals and groups of people. It requires flexibility of leadership approach or style.