Leadership. What does it really mean?
There are many quotes from various very famous people talking about leadership.
If you look up the term on the internet you can find definitions like “Leadership is the ability to motivate & organise others toward a common goal” or “a person or thing that is the best, or in first place in a race”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a leader as “a person who leads a group of people”. No matter which definition you look at it is all about the individual who has followers. Or to be in first place, but someone else must also be in the race.
Applied to a business environment, how do we get followers, people who will stand behind you for the good of the cause?
The answer is: it’s all about you, the leader, & only you. What you do determines who will follow & who will walk away. According to Forbes1, Global studies reveal “that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving.” So, who is responsible for this lack of appreciation employees are feeling? Is this down to the director, manager, team leader?
Is it as simple as just following the leader?
Of course not.
We are all different, unique individuals. All 7.6 billion of us. Our lives have followed an individual path, gaining our beliefs, values, attitudes, personalities creating/reinforcing our mindsets. We do not know what it is like to be in someone else’s body or mind, neither do they in ours. What we do or say can be heard differently due to all these traits.
As a leader we should bear all this in mind; we are who we are & everyone else is who they are. Do we then try to change them to follow us?
The truth is we can only influence, so the leader should do this through their actions. Leaders can earn the respect of followers in many ways.
Given the choice what kind of leader would you follow?
Leader A “I will encourage, trust, empower, inspire to enable you to become better at what you do!!”
Leader B “You will do everything I say! Get on with it!!”
Most people surveyed would sooner follow Leader A, would you?
Contemplate this, “I thought everyone else should change, I was blaming & pointing the finger, if I want anything to be different, it starts with me, the true leader, recognising everything around us is a reflection of me.” is it something you may have considered?
People will follow because they have to, they like you, you deliver, you help them grow, of who you are & what you represent. Make sure you are the type of leader people follow for the right reasons.
What style of leader do you want to be? It could be possible the type of business could dictate the type of leader that fits best within this sector. Developing our leadership style brings together all the facets discussed above, it’s about you & only you, dictated sometimes by the sector we are in.
There are varying types of leadership styles depending upon the references they are drawn from; some say there are 4 types while others say 6, 7, 10 & so on.
In reality, leaders are usually a mixture of a few. There are occasions where the leader must look at a situation finding it necessary to use a particular style that is not their true styles. For example, you may be a Democratic leader (asks for input & considers feedback from their team before making a decision). However, if there was a fire in the building, then this type of leadership would not apply, it would have to be more autocratic, military style; do exactly what I say, get out of the building.
There are other leadership styles than the two mentioned above, coaching, servant, visionary, laissez-faire, pacesetter, transformational, transactional & bureaucratic. However, arguably the best may be situational leadership. To be effective as a leader we might have to use several leadership styles at any given time, based on the unique needs of the company, its organisational culture, our experience & personality.
If you want to learn to be a better leader, please contact our expert team at Growth@Qinesis.com.