For many of us, we became a leader because we were good at getting things done. “Doing” was a major part of our success because we knew how to put our head down, focus on a task, and demonstrate GRIT & HUSTLE. As we grow and develop as leaders, our responsibilities change from the operational or the “doing” tasks, and more emphasis is placed on leadership and leading.
Developing Our Leadership Style
It is easy for us to get lost in the “doing” with the fast-paced environment in which RDI operates. Getting bogged down in the “doing” is one of the primary downfalls of many leaders. It is important to understand that the higher we grow in leadership, the more time, energy, and focus we should spend on leading and developing our leadership style.
Our Focus Changes to Coaching
When we move from an individual contributor position to a leadership position, our entire focus changes. Our focus shifts to developing our skills for connecting with, inspiring, and coaching others. For RDI to continue to grow and enjoy the success that we have had, we have to lead.
Articulate & Communicate Your Style
In order to become better leaders tomorrow, we need to focus on where we are today. Being able to articulate and communicate our style is a key piece of the leadership puzzle. Knowing our style or combination of styles gives us direction as well as gives our team a greater understanding of how they can expect to be lead.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective styles:
1.) Democratic Leadership
The team all has a strong say in the decisions, and the leader makes the ultimate call based on the team’s input. The leader often appears no more important than any member of the team. Democratic leadership is an effective leadership style because it allows team members to THINK and gain experience they’ll need later on down the road.
2.) Strategic Leadership
The leader invests a lot of time connecting with those above them and adjacent to them in other areas and connecting those interests together with their own responsibilities. Strategic leaders THINK big picture and are interested in how all of the parts work together.
3.) Coach-Style Leadership
The leader invests the majority of time in coaching their direct reports and developing their skills to be stronger. Much like a sports coach, this leader focuses on identifying and nurturing the individual strengths of each member of their team and how best to utilize those strengths. This style is similar to democratic and strategic leadership, however the focus is developing the individuals to increase performance.
Own Your Leadership Style Confidently
The most valuable thing we bring to the table as a leader is our authentic selves. We need to understand our style (or combination of styles), and put them into practice every day to lead our team. Whatever our leadership style is, it is uniquely ours. Own it, have confidence in it, and translate that confidence into leading.