Becoming a leader is no longer as simple as being promoted into a management position regardless of your talents. Whether you’re already a manager or aspiring to take on a more senior role in your organisation, it’s important to understand your own leadership style so you can behave in an authentic and inspiring way. This was the topic of a recent ANZ Channel Community Webinar. Listen to the webinar on-demand.
Even the meaning of leadership has changed as the realities of and expectations about work have evolved. In a world of constant change and disruption, good leaders must be adaptable to new ways of thinking and working and must understand the complexities of their staff to provide the support necessary for teams and individuals to thrive. Leaders today must make themselves available as mentors to guide the next generation of workers. The strongest leaders maintain a close connection to others which allows them to inspire and empower staff.
Becoming a good leader doesn’t happen because of a job title. While management is quite a tactical position that involves keeping teams on track to achieve business objectives, leadership leans more toward communicating vision to inspire teams and building strong employee engagement by fostering trust among staff.
Individuals possess different qualities which can both hinder or enhance their ability to lead others. Leaders demonstrate their strength by:
- Proactively facing decisions
Leaders don’t wait to be told what problems need to be solved, they look around and come to the table with solutions.
- Motivate those around them
You don’t need to be a supervisor to inspire others in the workplace. Successful leaders encourage staff by being enthusiastic, willing to collaborate and be supportive of their needs.
- Look beyond their job role
You won’t hear a leader say, “that’s not my job.” Leaders are willing to expand the scope of their roles in an organisation.
- Share their knowledge
Leaders aren’t shy about sharing their knowledge. Stepping up as an expert who’s willing to guide others will increase your recognition as a genuine leader who wants to develop the capabilities of their staff.
Different leadership capabilities mean different things to every individual, meaning there is no one best way to lead. You need to start by determining your values and ethics stance to then build your leadership foundation. You need to be able to reflect on who you are as an individual and who your team is, and how you can all work together to the best of everyone’s abilities. Therefore, finding the right motivator is crucial to developing the most authentic leadership style.
Determine Your Authentic Leadership Style
By engaging a certified predictive index partner, you can determine your individual workplace-related behaviours, your pace of work, your motivation and how you approach risk, which can help to determine the most authentic leadership style. You must investigate certain attributes to determine your leadership style:
Dominance is the drive to exert your influence on people or events. Individuals with a high level of dominance are highly independent, determined and crave an element of control. As leaders, these individuals need to put their mark on an idea and are good at communicating strategic vision and the big picture. Individuals with a lower level of dominance focus on more on collaboration and harmony, and as leaders tend to build supportive environments to build confidence in their teams.
Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people. People with high extraversion are comfortable communicating with others and typically generate their best ideas when discussing with others. People with lower extraversion are more reflective and come up with their best ideas when left to analyse a problem by themselves.
Patience is the drive for consistency and stability. If you have high patience, then you may typically prefer the familiar and routines, and your leadership style may be composed, tending to think slower and present information more clearly. People with lower patience generally prefer change and the pressure and variety that comes along with it, and, as leaders, can appear more intense as they speak faster.
Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure to deliver high quality outcomes. Individuals with high levels of formality prefer to have stronger structure and frameworks in place. Highly organised, these individuals can deliver tasks to very high standards and have incredibly strong attention to detail. As leaders, these individuals value providing clear roadmaps and clarity by thinking everything through before presenting information to staff. Individuals with lower levels of formality are more spontaneous and do not like to be confined to rules and structure. Their leadership style tends to be less focused on detail, leaning towards communicating vision and motivating staff to keep them engaged with the big picture.
To be a successful leader, it’s vital to understand your individual preferences to define your authentic leadership style that builds on your strengths. Likewise, identifying where your weaknesses lie and surrounding yourself with people who fill the gaps lets you build a strong team that can tackle tasks to a higher standard.
Leading Through Disruption
To be successful as a leader, you need to know yourself and your team inside out, and be confident in your ability to manage change. Change inevitably creates disruption within organisations, and the best leaders can bring order to chaos to allow teams to adapt.
To successfully navigate times of change, leaders should:
- Communicate a strong vision to ensure staff understand why change is occurring.
- Articulate the goals and plan for success.
- Set realistic expectations of individual team members who may struggle to adapt to change.
- Regularly check in with staff and ask for feedback to ensure staff feel valued and involved in the changes happening.
Leaders must not try to change people but rather understand and respect their uniqueness and complexities. This will foster a mutual respect and trust which can lead to increased effectiveness across teams. Self-awareness is the first step in your leadership journey and those who identify their values and ethics can perform more successfully as leaders.
If you’re in the Australia and New Zealand region, connect with likeminded technology professionals today by joining the ANZ Channel Community.
Strengthen Your Leadership Skills
This series of infographics, created by the CompTIA ANZ Channel Community, provides future and current leaders with perspective on how to gain your team’s trust, earn their respect and ultimately achieve your collaborative.
Check out the infographics now.