One of the most important things to remember as a leader is that you cannot lead if no one will follow. It doesn’t matter how much you want to be a leader; if you don’t have the respect of your team, you will fail. So it’s vital to make sure your style represents the best of your leadership capabilities and you recognize the importance of collaboration and teamwork in creating an effective organization.
That being said, while all leaders will have some qualities and characteristics in common, every leader will have a slightly different leadership style that is unique to them. Over time, most leaders will develop several skills they can pull from to help them lead in different situations. To start, however, it is essential to identify your own unique and innate style. Here are three steps to identifying your personal leadership style.
Get to know the different types of leaders
When it comes to finding your own style of anything, it is important to understand the different options. From autocratic leadership to democratic, participative leadership or servant leadership, a wide range of leadership styles has already been identified. Understanding different styles of leadership is the first step to finding your own style.
Look at your own personality
Chances are good your leadership style also will strongly reflect your personality. If you tend to be pretty laid back, casual, and easygoing, chances are good you may also take a more laissez-faire approach to leadership. If you take pride in not following the crowd and making your own decisions, you may be more of an autocratic leader. Similarly, if you tend to be a natural influencer and find it easy to motivate others, you may be more of a transformational or charismatic leader.
Servant leadership also has become well respected in today’s business environment. Servant leadership is a leadership philosophy in which the goal of the leader is to serve. This is different from traditional leadership styles where the leader’s primary focus is the success of the organization. With servant leadership, the well-being of the team is of primary importance — while also taking into consideration the overall objectives and purpose of the organization.
Look at your leadership influences
Your parents, role models, teachers, or friends who were influential in your childhood may have a strong impact on your leadership style; however, their leadership style may not be the same as yours. Remember your way of leading will be more a reflection of your own personality. You may have a parent that is a highly charismatic leader, but that doesn’t mean their way of leading will work the same for you. Similarly, you may have had a coach, teacher, or mentor you admired that achieved great success by employing a particular leadership style that may not work as well for you due to differences in personality and temperament. Learn from these role models, while honing your own unique strengths. Experience is a great teacher, but so too is learning from others, both the positive and the negative; talking with your peers; reading books and getting counsel from a mentor or coach.