A Single Leadership Style Does Not Fit Every Situation

A Single Leadership Style Does Not Fit Every Situation

by Berna Hakimi

One leadership style is not the most effective in any given situation.  When it comes to managing people effectively, the atmosphere and type of work environment often means you have to “switch” your leadership style in to a different gear.  Good leaders can do this instinctively; they understand what needs to be done and the people they are leading.

Much of what dictates the leadership style in any given situation depends on a few factors such as whether the environment is stable, conservative or constantly changing.  Whether the work to be done is something new or routine, and the level of skill possessed by your team all factor in to the most effective leadership style for that team.

Most people in management develop a leadership style that becomes consistent and fixed.  Your team may think of you as bossy, picky, or easy to get along with.  The fact is, most environments are ever-changing, and in order to be most effective for the benefit of your company and your team, you must realize that it takes more than one leadership style.

Watch this video with David Mohler, CTO of Duke Energy where he talks about managing the human side of company transformation and how his own leadership style helps make this happen.

Which leadership style describes you?

People or relations-oriented

Do you work on developing the skills and confidence of your employees?  Those who are devoted to getting their team organized and helping them through good support and participation usually engage in the people-oriented leadership style.  This is a style that is effective for getting a team to collaborate and work together in friendly, cooperative atmosphere.

The delegative leadership style

In the delegative or free reign leadership style, you delegate certain tasks to those workers or employees that you trust can handle the task.  While you are still responsible for any decisions that are made, you realize that you cannot handle every task yourself; you place your trust in those that are capable of getting the job done.

A good manager will not use the delegative leadership style in excess, but only when the situation calls for it.  This style of leadership often helps improve morale, as it demonstrates to employees that they can be trusted to make a decision.

Authoritarian leadership style

If you are a manager that likes to be in total control of every situation, you tend to use the authoritarian leadership style to manager employees.  This can be an effective style of managing workers when immediate action needs to be taken, or when time is of the essence.  However, you want to avoid using the authoritarian leadership style in every situation, as employees will get the impression that you are a control freak; it may also lessen employee dedication and motivation.

None of the above may be an exact fit for the type of leadership style you use.  There are others including the transformational leadership style, which many feel is appropriate in most business or corporate environments.  A manager who uses this approach is a good communicator, sets defined goals, encourages and supports employees, inspires workers to see beyond their own needs so that they can focus on team efforts, and recognizes employees for the work they do.

In any situation, it is essential that you use the leadership style that works best in that scenario.

Watch this exclusive video interview with Don Knauss, CEO of Clorox where he shares about his effective leadership style.



Berna Hakimi