Article Discovering Your Leadership Style

The Style of Leadership is Unique to each Person and Critical to Success

Not all managers, CEOs or small business owners are made alike, and each comes equipped with their own personalities or modes of organization.  While it’s critical to have exemplary leadership skills, people in leadership positions should discover an appropriate leadership style which properly displays those skills.  By adopting a consistent style that works for their position, leaders will find improved communication with team members and feel more comfortable and confident in their role as leaders.  Furthermore, when leaders tap into a style that feels and appears natural, it can only accentuate their strengths, which aids in a better understanding of how to handle their weaknesses.

Discovering Your Leadership Style

Not all managers, CEOs or small business owners are made alike, and each comes equipped with their own personalities or modes of organization.  While it’s critical to have exemplary leadership skills, people in leadership positions should discover an appropriate style which properly displays those skills.  By adopting a consistent style that works for their position, leaders will find improved communication with team members and feel more comfortable and confident in their role as leaders.

Furthermore, when leaders tap into a style that feels and appears natural, it can only accentuate their strengths, which aids in a better understanding of how to handle their weaknesses.

Transactional and Transformational Styles

 Developed by the leadership studies scholar, James MacGregor Burns, transactional and transformational leadership styles are always brought into the discussion.  As well a political scientist and historian, Burns’ theories are due in part to his research on presidential leadership.

Burns described a transactional leader as one who would engage in a reward exchange with their “followers”, or employees.  On the other hand, transformational leaders are those who engage with employees not through a reward system, but rather through generating excitement for the possible future outcomes of their work.  It’s all about the “vision thing!” In his research, Burns concluded that transactional leaders leaned toward a passive style, whereas transformational leaders were more assertive and motivating in their approach.

To narrow-in further on both styles, Burns noted that a transactional leader was responsive in their approach to staff, but transformational leaders were clearly more proactive in their style.  A transactional leader works inside the lines of a pre-set organizational setup, but a transformational leader colors outside the lines and introduces new ideas to improve working conditions and productivity. An understanding of both styles is fundamental to a managers leadership skills.

In regards to employee communication and productivity, a transactional leader will often achieve their outcomes by means of a reward and punishment system. However, transformational leaders have been observed to “inspire” their employees by reinforcing the importance of their work.  While both leaders are undoubtedly motivated to succeed, a transactional boss has been shown to be motivated by self-interest, while a transformational leader motivates their team by encouraging them to put the interests of the group, or the working whole, first.

While Burns’ analysis has a biased toward the transformational approach, that’s not to say that transactional leaders don’t have decent employee morale or can’t achieve expected financial outcomes.  However, one approach is clearly more forward-thinking, whereas the other appears more settled in its ways.

Considering that “Burns’ styles” are both extremely broad, there’s room for an individual to personalize an approach to comfortably fit their personality, while still trying to grow a business and their revenue.  While someone may be appealed to the transformational approach, they may want to adopt a little bit of that reward system employed by the transnational leadership style.

Underlying all questions of style, a leader brings specific skills, abilities and characteristics to the table. As long as the “style of leadership is appropriate for the responsibilities, and encompasses the fundamentals of leadership, authenticity is critical.

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The Management Leadership Zone is a website dedicated to both management news and management and leadership development. Our website is intended to be “open source” for those who become members to be able to add content. Our publisher and founder, Michael D. Moore is a 40+ year veteran entrepreneur and corporate executive in the Banking and Insurance Industries.

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About 

The Management Leadership Zone is a website dedicated to both management news and management and leadership development. Our website is intended to be “open source” for those who become members to be able to add content. Our publisher and founder, Michael D. Moore is a 40+ year veteran entrepreneur and corporate executive in the Banking and Insurance Industries.