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Leadership Styles

Leadership Styles

Leadership styles

There are many styles of leadership. But the important thing to recognise is that the concept of "leadership", itself, has its own distinctiveness and that "leadership styles" are minor variations on the major theme.

It would be an error to focus too hard on the differing variations before you have hammered home the fundamental unity; that set of common characteristics, that are shared by all leaders.

So we believe that it is a confusion to learn six or nine leadership styles, try to memorise their definitions, learn their strengths and weaknesses and try to remember how to apply each one in differing contexts.

For example, there is one leadership model that asks you to learn five different personalities called "Innovator"; "Developer"; "Activator"; "Maximiser"; and "Balancer". For the manager who is feeling confused about the vexed question of, "How to become a better leader", the suggestion that he needs to master five different personality types, and know when, and how, to apply them in real life, smoothly, without missing a beat, would be more of a confusion, than a help.

Instead of confusing people, let us simplify the issue by recognising that leadership styles are about style, and there is a major difference between style and substance.

Style should be distinguished from substance

  • Substance is the fundamental truth of the issue; substance is the foundation and the true content of an idea. On the other hand,
  • Style is a refinement, an add-on, a slight amendment to the fundamental.

It is an error to focus too hard on the stylistic variations before you have nailed the fundamental elements.

So the question you should concern yourself with is:

What are the five or six distinguishing characteristics that separate all leaders from all non-leaders?

To restate the question into other words:

  • What five or six characteristics are shared by all leaders, in all realms, that mark them out as leaders, and by virtue of which they can function as the leader.

To restate the question again:

  • What is the essence of leadership?

How can you answer that question?

You could make a list of great leaders, taken from all realms of human activity, from business, from politics, from economics, from exploration, from the military.

Business: Walt Disney
Economics: Mark Carney
Politics: JFK
Exploration: Neil Armstrong
Military: Field marshal Montgomery

Then you look for common themes.

What five or six characteristics are shared by these leaders in all their realms and that mark them out as leaders, and by virtue of which they can function as the leader. What is the essence of their power to lead?

We believe that you will discover the same list of characteristics, as we did.

All leaders have the same characteristics. These characteristics are what distinguish them as "leaders". Unless you have the following list of attributes built into your performance, then you will not be able to function as a leader.

The list of leadership attributes are as follows:

  1. Goal focused mind set.
  2. An ability to communicate with accuracy and precision.
  3. An ability to plan ahead into the future, and find practical means to achieve the goals.
  4. A mind that does not accept temporary setbacks as final failure. (Failure is not an option).
  5. The ability to inspire other people to cooperate with the leader and with each other, in order to get the job done.
  6. A positive mental attitude, which can be maintained even during tough times.

When you have mastered all the fundamentals, and have ingrained them into your soul, should you then turn your mind to working out the details of leadership styles of the "Innovator" "Developer", "Activator" "Maximiser" and the "Balancer".

Focus on the most important things first and learn this list.

  1. Goal focus.
  2. Accurate communicator.
  3. Good planner.
  4. Persistence.
  5. Inspire positive attitude in others.
  6. Positive attitude in yourself, which can be maintained even during tough times.

If you want to develop your skills in these six areas, then please come on our two day leadership course.

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