There are several very strong models for leadership which have been developed after many years of study, and with the help of many companies and their leaders. All of these models share some things in common that we can certainly learn from in our own quest to become the best leaders that we can be. Whether you have “leader” in your job title or you are a leader without a team, developing the characteristics of strong leaders will help you in your work.
First, let’s explore what kind of a leader that you are. In the work done by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard on the Situational Leadership II® model, they recognize four leadership styles that tend to resonate with us. As you read about the different styles, think about where your comfort zone is.
Someone with a director’s style does well with new employees, who seem to easily respond to being told what is expected, having processes and procedures outlined for them, and having someone they can report to or ask questions of regularly. The director’s style is defined by a high emphasis on directing tasks and being able to account for results.
Coaches are able to blend supporting people and directing tasks. This is available to a leader when employees understand what is expected, but need some range of support in order to take independent steps and make things happen. A coach’s style has a high degree of involvement in directing tasks, with an equally high emphasis on supporting people.
This style encourages people to come up with solutions and solve problems on their own. It provides them with the support they need in terms of tools and resources. The supporting style shows a low degree of directing tasks and a high emphasis on supporting people.
Delegating means that the delegator holds responsibility for results, but that the work is done by others. We delegate to individuals who have high levels of related skill and the experience it takes to locate their resources and tools. Then they can report to the delegator at defined intervals. This style has a low emphasis on directing tasks, and an equally low emphasis on providing people support.
If you would like to learn more about leadership styles take a look at our online course The Professional Supervisor.