What Type of Leader Are You?

What Type of Leader Are You?

There are many styles of leadership, but what style do you use? It’s important to understand how you lead your teams and whether that style is appropriate; self-awareness is key to becoming a successful leader, and good leadership is proven to bring about higher productivity.

Autocratic, democratic, free-reign, commanding, visionary and coaching are just a few leadership styles and each has its own benefits and pitfalls. In fact, there are so many different styles with slight nuances that it would take more than a single blog to cover them all. While there are countless headings, almost every individual style can but put under one of two umbrellas; Transactional or Transformational.

Transactional leaders work by creating clear structure within an organisation. They are heavily focused on the management process of controlling, monitoring and short-term planning, and they motivate employees by appealing to their self-interest. The goal of the employee is to be obedient to the direction of the leader. The leader relies on a system of reward and punishment to maintain motivation and output. “If you achieve this objective, you will receive this reward, if you fail to meet that objective you will receive this punishment.” Transactional leaders clearly define the goals and provide overall control and management of all of the tasks involved in meeting those goals successfully. These goals are generally short term and not strategically inclined. The exchange of work for reward can be effective in the short term however employees may not feel fulfilled or valued from a personal development perspective, and may come to feel like just a number, especially as the relationship can be somewhat business-like.

Transformational leaders deal with personnel at all levels, not just those below them. They are people focused and recognise that by developing people, they will produce better teams and, as a result, those teams will deliver better outcomes. Transformational leaders are focused on continuous improvement, they foster and nurture a culture of change which helps to maintain strategic success. Employees’ motivation is maintained by regularly achieving personal greatness, and it is the transformational leadership that encourages them to step out of their comfort zones, come up with creative solutions and develop themselves and the business. Interpersonal relationships are usually very good and transformational leaders have a high level of emotional intelligence. They spend time with their employees and provide guidance and mentorship, this helps to build trust and respect and cultivates extremely tight knit, passionate, committed and happy work places.

Is one style better than the other?

Being a transformational leader lends itself much more easily to being able to change into a transactional style if and when the situation requires. However, if a leader has little or no experience or aptitude for the development of people, it is very difficult (without training and many hours of practice) to move the other way, from transactional to transformational.

What type of leader are you?

Blog by - Michelle Perkins, www.leadershipandmanagementguru.com