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6 Styles of Strategic Leadership

An effective leader inspires and guides employees, targeting their strengths and weaknesses so both employees and the organisation can thrive. The link between leadership styles and employees, therefore, is important for leaders to consider. Despite this, research reveals 75% of workers leave their jobs because of their boss. Every leader has a specific style, do you know what yours is and how it compares to other styles?

 

1.      Visionary

Visionary leaders are big picture people. Visionary leaders characteristically bring cohesiveness to inspire everyone to be on the same page. They aren’t authoritarian or dictatorial, so they don’t seek control over their employees. Instead, they provide freedom to employees to determine the best path to actualising their vision. Visionary leaders have a way of inspiring people to rally around their vision. Giving the team a competitive advantage.

2.      Coaching

This leader focuses on identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member on their team. They also focus on strategies that will enable the team to work better together. They focus on creating strong teams that embrace each other’s unique skill sets. This style emphasises the growth and success of individual employees. Therefore, a leader with this leadership style encourages employees to try new tasks and they provide regular guidance.

3.      Affiliative

If we could describe the affiliative leader in one word, it would be harmonious. Their goal is to build teams that work together to accomplish organisational objectives. However, their motivation is not just concerned with meeting performance standards. Instead, they have a genuine interest in making sure their staff feel connected to one another. They make the emotional needs of workers a priority and work to prevent conflict among teams.

4.      Democratic

The democratic leadership style involves team members in critical decision making. It works well in teams where team members are highly skilled and experienced. Also called participative leadership, it requires the leader to be intelligent, creative, considerate and competent. Democratic leadership style is most preferred over other leadership styles. But on the downside, the democratic process is normally slower and may not function well when quick decision-making is crucial.

5.      Pacesetting

Pacesetting leaders set high standards for themselves and direct reports. They lead by example and don’t ask their staff to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves. However, poor performers are asked to rise to the occasion and if they don’t, they’re often replaced. Pacesetters don’t give employees much positive feedback and they have no problem taking over if they think it’s needed. Many employees feel overwhelmed by the pacesetter’s demands for excellence, resulting in low morale.

6.      Commanding

A leader who uses the commanding leadership style tells their employees what they want done and how. There is a lack of creativity under this leadership style because strategic direction comes from a single individual. Commanding leadership can be rough on employees, with many feeling devalued and ignored. Though it may sound like a bleak atmosphere, commanding leadership can be necessary during times of transition or crisis.

What’s your leadership style? Do you feel okay about it? Leaders of every style can be effective or ineffective. Moreover, some styles work better with different people and in different situations. But for now, it’s important just to understand your own style. Once you have this knowledge, you can start thinking about how to leverage your style to achieve even greater results.

 


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