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Leadership Styles

Effective Leadership Styles

Bill Gorman asked:

No matter the individual or the reason at hand, all effective leadership styles have one thing in common- they all contain the “Four C’s”- Character, Communication skills, Consistency, and the Creativity needed for successful problem solving. Of course, within each of these four traits, variances of extreme proportions are noted by those most inclined to utilize them.

For example, President Harry Truman was quoted as saying, “A leader is a person who has the ability to get others to do what they don’t want to do and like it.” This type of leadership style, or “Team Leader”, is one in which the leader rallies those following behind in a positive manner and therefore yielding positive results. Such a leader is considered to be “High Task and High Relationship”, making sure that all workers/followers are focused, aiming together toward one common goal, and working just as hard (if not harder) as the others in the team.

On the flip side, Napoleon and other “great” leaders of history were not concerned that their people liked what they were doing. In fact, these types of leaders had absolutely no concern for their recruits/followers, as they were considered to be “High Task/Low Relationship”, or have adopted an “Authoritarian Leadership” style. Although effective, it’s highly unlikely that Napoleon’s troops were thrilled with their experiences.

Within the differing leadership styles (both effective and not), one must be familiar with the negative attributes which can easily effect the performance and outcome of the task at hand. For instance, a “Country Club Leader” is one that is “Low Task and High Relationship”, thus using reward power as the driving force to reach the preset goals. Such actions are commonly the result of fear of losing or damaging the relationships of their team, therefore not using the powers that are required by a leader and replacing them with money and/or gifts.

The ability to get onto the correct path for creating your own effective leadership style stems from within the individual, for realizing that it is the followers who recognize if a leader is successful is the first step. Share the glory with your team, but keep the pains to yourself. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, for a boss tells others what to do while a leader shows them what can be done. Share your vision with your team in words that can be understood by all. And while you’re at it, share your knowledge of the Four C’s, as well as the tricks needed to accomplish, for a leader is only as successful as the team that carries them.

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