Leadership Style Leadership it is hard to define. Lots of famous and not so famous people have been writing about it and the importance of an effective leadership for organizations to be successful. One of my favorites is the one Harry S. Truman the Thirty-third President of the United States did: “My definition of a leader . . . is a man who can persuade people to do what they don’t want to do, or do what they’re too lazy to do, and like it”. But, should a leader use always the same type of leadership style no matter what?
What if the organization is going through a process of merger, should the leader keep using the same style as the one he used before the merger? I would agree with what Gary Yukl says: “Effective leaders use a pattern of behavior that is appropriate for the situation and reflects a high concern for task objectives and a high concern for relationships” (Yukl, 2009). An effective leader should be able to react and interact with the environment surrounding him.
As the popular wisdom says, what is permanent in this life is change; people change, the economy changes, technology advances make business and life different; leadership cannot be any different. Leaders should be in constant evolution and change, depending on the moment that his/her organization is living. It has been theorized that exist several different styles of leadership. Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership introduces six leadership styles: Visionary Leadership, Coaching style, Affiliative leadership, Democratic Leadership, Pacesetting Leadership and Commanding leadership.
As Goleman establish in his theory, effective leaders are attuned to other people’s feelings and move them in a positive emotional direction. They speak authentically about their own values, direction and priorities and react with the emotions of surrounding people. That can be defined by Goleman as “resonance”; in my own terms, resonance is the ability of a leader of transform itself during the interaction process with his/her people. I agree with Goleman when he states that this resonance ability comes aturally to people with a high degree of Emotional Intelligence. Leaders and people in general are more than grades, SATs Scores and test results standardized by society. The traits of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management as components of the Emotional Intelligence play a key role in the behavior of a leader. The most effective leaders can create that “resonance” in different ways during the interaction with the organization and the external influences.
For example, a Visionary leadership it is necessary when the organization is coping with drastic changes or when it is required a change of direction. At that moment the leader to be successful should inspire the people, be empathetic and explain why and how the people’s role in the process contributes to the shared “dream”. In the other hand, when the situation or decision that is needed to make, requires more information than what the leader possesses, the right leadership style would be a democratic leadership.
The leader in the situation we mentioned, should be a good listener, appreciate people’s input and get commitment through participation in order to obtain the more effective outcome. In summary, for effective leadership, is not only important what is needed to be done (the task) but also how is going to be done. References Yukl, Gary A. (2006) Leadership in Organizations, 7/e. Prentice Hall. Goleman Daniel, Boyatzis Richard and McKee Annie (2002) Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, Harvard Business School Press