What is your leadership style? Is it effective? How do you define effectiveness? Try this – Does your style increase the bottom line while building high levels of trust that exceeds customer expectations? Probably not. Jim
By Bill Treasurer
I was a lousy leader. I learned that when one of my employees, a guy named Steve, threatened to quit because of my dictatorial leadership style. He confronted me after one of my tirades because of my project team’s subpar performance.
“Listen Treasurer,” he said, “where do you get off talking to us like that? Do you think that by berating us and making us feel small you will earn our respect? All you do is harp on everyone’s mistakes. What’s your goal, dude? To make us afraid of you? At what cost? People hate working for you. If you talk to us like that again, I’ll walk. I respect myself too much to let you treat me that badly.”
The truth only hurts if it should.
That night I kept playing the conversation over and over in my head. The more I thought about it, the more I knew that Steve was right. The truth was; I had no idea who I was as a leader. Instead, I had resorted to adopting the leadership style of my predecessors. I wasn’t a leader. I was just a reflection of my previous bosses. I was me being them. My behavior was an echo of theirs, all linking back to my original leadership role model: my dad.
What Have You Inherited?
A lot of leaders, sadly, have no earthly idea who they really are as leaders. They respond to people, situations, and challenges like puppets whose strings are being pulled by past bosses. Many default to the behavioral style of their parents. If the leader’s dad was a short-fused hothead, so too is the leader. The behavioral inheritance leaders get from their parents is deep, and often includes one’s religion, political persuasion, and social temperament. Yet, many leaders never question whether this inheritance is worth keeping, or whether the inheritance fits their own lives. Instead, they go on, obliviously, reverberating with the behaviors of other people.
You Being You
It is perfectly okay to choose to lead like those who have led you, especially when you admire the leaders you’ve been led by. It is not okay, though, to adopt the leadership style of others without ever considering whether you should. It is a dereliction of leadership responsibility to remain ignorant to what drives your own leadership behavior.
A lot has been written lately about the need for leadership self-awareness. Before leading those on the outside, it’s important for a leader to know what makes him or her tick on the inside. On the road to self-awareness it is critically important to know why you lead the way you lead. Here are some useful questions to promote the development of your own leadership style:
What do you truly believe about leadership? Who impacted these beliefs?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 equating with “level-headed” and 10 equating with “explosive”, how would you rate your temper? How is your own temper similar or different to the temper of each of your parents?
What else about you might be a reflection of your parents? You religion? Your political preferences? […]
Read full article via Your Leadership Inheritance – Human Capital Institute.