I took a management style quiz the other day. It was good. It was well thought out, to the point, and offered valuable advice. The answers I gave, fit my overall leadership style but that’s not always the style I use or the style best suited to the situation. It has been my observation that most successful leaders use multiple leadership styles and are wise and aware enough to fit the right style to the circumstances. Are you?

Management Style

The Visionary

Provides a path to success and long-term team goals. They do this by offering clear direction and persuasively implementing it. This works well with an established team, but works best if the leader has involved the team in the vision by seeking their input, and the leader has a reputation for keeping promises. Credibility is key.

The Friend 

Keeps everyone working together. Concentrates on learning what motivates individuals as well as the team and works towards providing the means to reach those goals, both team and personal. While perfect for managing routine tasks, conflict resolution, and mentoring, it’s not always the best style when significant performance improvement is called for.

The Politician

Strives for consensus and commitment from the team. Excellent approach for promoting teamwork, breaking down silos, and looking for areas to improve. The downfall is the substantial time required for individual conferences and group meetings, which doesn’t fit well with tight deadlines or crisis management.

The DIYer 

This manager jumps in and does the work. It can be a great way to set the example, train teammates, and build trust. However, it can limit the growth of others, and managers who spend too much time working on the business rather than in it, may lose vision.

The Coach 

This leader develops the people around them — often seeing more in the employee than the employee sees in themselves. Given hard working people of character this management style can be the basis for developing a winning team. The downside is that occasionally coaches have a tendency to hold onto unproductive people longer than they should.

The BIS (Because I said so)

Authoritarian managers demand their methods and procedures be followed. They often use fear as a motivator. This style can be effective in crisis mode. Daniel Goleman in Primary Leadership contends this style is only useful in crisis, when immediate change is required.

What’s Your Management Style?

Regardless of your primary leadership style you should be familiar with every style listed. For example, at one time I was a Because-I-Said-So boss. This led to many challenges, not the least of which was high employee turnover. I eventually saw the light and realized employing this fear-based style exclusively was counterproductive — even destructive. However, being familiar with this style makes me good in a crisis. So take the time to consider the styles. What’s your primary style and what styles do you need to cultivate?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Jexo on Unsplash