We’ve all worked for a boss who fancied him/herself as a leader but that’s only because of his position in the company. He showed little leadership skills but WAS a skillful – and fortunate – sap who happened to be in the right place when promotions were being given out.
Here are some leadership statistics to ponder:
- 18% of organizations say their leaders are “very effective” at meeting business goals*
- 25% of organizations say less than 10% of critical leadership positions have ready and willing successors*
- 58% of organizations top priority is closing leadership skill gaps*
- 71% of businesses feel that their leaders are not able to lead their organization into the future*
Pretty sobering statistics, no?
Without getting into what a leader should NOT be, here’s what a leader should be.
- A person’s drive shows that he or she is willing and able to exert exceptional effort to achieve a goal.
- Leaders have a desire to influence others.
- Leaders have self-confidence.
- A leader needs a high level of intelligence in order to influence others.
A leader must exert power over the employees he/she is responsible for. This is a daunting task with great responsibility. Where does this power come from?
Legitimate power – derived from an individual’s position in an organization.
Reward power – derived from an individual’s control over rewards such as a raise, promotion, bonus or even a favorable schedule.
Coercive power – derived from an individual’s ability to threaten negative outcomes.
Expert power – derived from an individual’s personal charisma and the respect and admiration the individual inspires.
Many leaders have a combination of these sources of power to influence others – but it all comes down to this…
Autocratic: The needs of the employees come second. The supervisor makes decisions without input from staff, gives orders and expects them to be obeyed.
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This style is used when the goal to be achieved is most important regardless of how it is achieved. This is outcome-orientated leadership but can easily lead to reduced employee morale and resentment.
Bureaucratic: Leading “By the Book”, relies on rules, regulations and procedures for decisions. This is appropriate when employees aren’t permitted discretion in the decisions to be made.
This style works in well in factory settings where employee safety and product quality must be a high priority.
Democratic: Almost the reverse of the autocratic style. The supervisor wants to share and consult with the group in decision making. A democratic leader informs employees about all matters concerning them and may act upon their advice.
Laissez-faire: The hands-off approach. The supervisor does as little leading as possible. This leader delegates all power and authority to employees.
This style will work well when your employees are self-motivated and trained well. But if not, it can be chaos.
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Here’s what Melissa Lamson, President & CEO of Lamson Consulting, states in her excellent article “The Leadership Development Trends in 2018”:
Top management must continue to learn to inspire, motivate and empower their leadership teams. Listening to what’s needed “on the ground,” maybe even spending more time there, will give leaders the information they need to direct the company’s mission.
Spending time developing for the first time, or revisiting the firm’s culture and values, allows leaders to standardize policies, systems, and best practices – particularly globally. And most importantly, communication is vital. The messages leadership sends virtually and in person are essential to creating a positive and productive atmosphere.
A leader doesn’t have to be dynamic and charming–just highly communicative and transparent.
So, what’s YOUR leadership style? What is the source of your power and can you honestly say you “have what it takes” to be a leader?
Only time, and your employees, will tell…
Source: *infolearning.com, other information courtesy of Wiley & Sons