As a Executive coach I am well aware that senior executives are not immune to the many issues that we all face. More importantly, they may soldier on regardless without regard to the danger of burn out, the result can be an expectation that their staff will do the same.
Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: ‘I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO’
If leaders led with this mindset, they would invite respect, collaboration and would unlock potential.
So what leadership style do you adopt, and does it work?
According to Goleman the six leadership styles are as follows:
- Commanding leaders:
- Positives: they make decisions and make changes and do not involve those that work with them. They may raise the standard of the business, however the downside is often a lack of responsibility and employee engagement.
- Visionary leaders:
- Positives: they have enthusiasm and a clear vision and maximise commitment encouraging employee engagement. The downside is that they may struggle if staff are more skilled in some areas than themselves.
- Affiliative leaders:
- Positives: they value people and promote harmony, building trust and communication. Downside is if they are let down, they may experience it as a personal slight and they are also not good at facing hard facts.
- Democratic leaders:
- Positives: they ask the opinions of those they work with. They gather ideas and input and are good at building trust and respect in the work-force. Downside, it may not work so well in the long term.
- Pace-setting leaders:
- Positives: they set high standards driving their staff forward, demonstrating the desired behaviours that they require. Downside: in the long-term they may drive down personal initiative, and may find themselves and their staff facing burnout.
- Coaching style:
- Positives: they encourage personal growth and maximise delegation, creating dialogue and partnership. The downside is that you can’t take someone where they don’t want to go.
Do you have an executive coach to support as you lead, whatever your style?
All leaders are more effective if they give themselves space to listen to what is going on internally. In order to go forward you sometimes must go back.
My strap-line is: ‘I can help you get out of the way of yourself!’
In order to achieve this you must look yourself squarely in the face. Then decide which parts you want to carry forward and which parts are no longer useful. It is a brave and courageous leader who decides to leave behind the comfort of old and often outdated coping styles for new and exciting ways to lead.
As the Dalai Lama said, ‘manage your inner world with mindfulness and self-management. Turn towards others with empathy and compassion and act for the greater good.