Leader of The Pack: 7 Leadership Styles To Choose For You, Your Team

If you are new to leadership or if you are considering shifting, polishing or adding a new leadership style, here are seven distinct leadership styles you can adopt.It’s best to lead in a style that feels authentic and close to your way of thinking and doing.The foundation of any leadership style is an approach to the fundamentals of the power to make change. The Take The Lead programs “catapult women into leadership with an effective all-in-one solution,” says Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead.Take The Lead has the mission to prepare, develop and inspire all women into leadership positions, with the goal of leadership parity across all sectors by 2025.“The 9 Leadership Power Tools are rooted in a sophisticated concept of power. Embraced with intention, women shift from the outdated, oppressive ‘Power Over’ to the expansive, positive and innovative ‘Power To,‘” Feldt says. Doing this, you can “crack the code that has held women back from leadership parity.“Knowing of course that there are benefits, detriments and challenges to most every leadership style, shop here for what seems right to you in order to make the changes needed .[bctt tweet=“If you are new to #leadership or if you are considering shifting, polishing or adopting a new leadership style, there are seven distinct leadership styles you can adopt. #womenleaders” username=“takeleadwomen”]Forecaster: Not that you are predicting the weather, but you like to be a thought leader, thinking ahead for trends and using your ideas and knowledge to shape your work culture. “You like to have ample time to think deeply, amass information, and reflect on what you’ve learned. You harness that knowledge to formulate insights about future trends and consider how various strategies might impact the business,” according to Bonnie W. Gwin, Ryan Pastrovich and Jeff Sanders writing in Chief Executive.  “Forecasters thrive in environments where people like to be led by leaders with new ideas and intellectual capital or in firms where deep subject matter expertise is highly valued. Forecasters also excel in innovative organizations that benefit from more thoughtful strategic insights into future trends. And they are likely to do well in circumstances where there’s opportunity to create and evolve products and processes.”Coach: Whether you have ever been on a sports team, debate team or even in a school play or band, you know that your coach can be highly encouraging, inspiring  and push you to perform at peak. This style is all about the team and the bigger goals. “The coaching leadership style works best to help individual team members to create a link between their individual goals and company-wide objectives. This is a style preferred by many maturing millennials as it provides them with a “strong sense of higher purpose and the knowledge that the work they do matters.” When using this style of leadership, it’s important to focus on encouragement. It is most effective for communications about individual team members’ skills, professional development, and facets of their career. A coaching leadership style helps to create and reinforce a connection with individuals and establishes higher levels of trust,” writes Moira Alexander in Tech Republic.[bctt tweet=“Whether you have ever been on a sports team, debate team or even in a school play or band, you know that your coach can be a great leadership role model. #LeadershipStyles” username=“takeleadwomen”]Light Touch: You don’t have to dress up like a clown or have whoopee cushions on chairs in meetings to be a leader who has a great sense of humor. Use empathy and a lightheartedness in your casual transactions. “There’s one element of business management many people tend to forget: the human aspect. Teams are made up of individuals who have emotions and personalities — no one person is like the other. Laughter humanizes leaders and flattens the workplace hierarchy, it sets the pace of the environment you build. If your team members aren’t laughing and enjoying themselves at work, something’s wrong in your office,” writes Christian Valiulis, Chief Revenue Officer at APS,  in Forbes.Inclusive: Managing differences in a workplace takes a leader with the agility to speak to everyone on his or her own terms and to offer appreciation and value of individuality. “The key to aligning agendas and managing difference is cultural competence. Cultural competence is the ability to interact effectively across lines of difference. Whether the difference is one of race or cultural background or gender or educational status or work style, inclusive leaders consistently exhibit their leadership competencies well and with everyone. The ability to lead a group or team in a way that determines and maximizes the diversity and individual strengths of individual team members to exceed goal achievement,” writes Orlando Bishop, thought leader with the Kaleidoscope Group, in BizJournals.Transformational: You may have been called in to change an entire culture, whether that is to start afresh or to fix the problems of the leader on his or her way out the door. This is challenging and requires you to be all in, perform at peak and be an example of peak performance. Take a deep breath and know it can be done and  you can do it. “Management literature on leadership theory talks about different styles of leadership that exist — one style is a transformational leadership style where the leader transforms his entire organization to excel and stand out. There are fortunately some exceptional leaders from the political and social services arena that stand out as the epitome of the transformational leadership model. For example, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, who had millions following them even when their leadership did not have the power to offer any tangible benefit to receivers,” writes Dr. Sam Swapn Sinha,  CEO of Strategism, in Forbes.Listener. Not that you will sit in your office and just listen to your employees all day, but being a good communicator who has a reputation for really listening is an admirable style. Heidi O’Neill, president of Nike’s direct-to-consumer business, told CNN, “It is also important to make sure your employees are heard. We want them to tell us what’s working, what’s not, and what they think we can do to surprise and delight the consumer. This takes effort in a big global company, but it’s the only way to be successful. t’s just as critical to recognize and appreciate your colleagues’ voices and styles. I’m always looking for ways to ensure everyone is heard. Earlier in my career, I didn’t know how much I could improve the workplace by simply inviting everyone to collaborate. Now, I’m constantly asking myself: Am I running meetings in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable sharing? Am I observing those quiet signals if folks aren’t comfortable? Am I inviting my teammates in to the conversation?” Answer those questions and proceed accordingly.[bctt tweet=“Being a good communicator who has a reputation for really listening is an admirable trait in a leader. #LeadershipTips” username=“takeleadwomen”]Provider. This does not mean you literally provide food, clothing and shelter, this means you are a valuable and reliable resource for information, direction and guidance. “If you are a Provider, you are likely motivated by two different yet equally strong forces—the desire to lead from the front and to take care of those around you. You tend to believe that your method or manner of doing things will continue to generate results and thus are motivated to impart it to others,” write Bonnie W. Gwin, Ryan Pastrovich and Jeff Sanders writing in Chief Executive.  . “You are also deeply loyal and committed to those around you, and you operate with a sense of conviction—all characteristics that can be very appealing to followers. Such Providers typically thrive in situations where people want a leader who sets a clear and deliberate path for them to follow. But, in keeping with the dual nature of Providers’ motivations, they also do well where others want to be part of a group and the Provider can proactively shape the environment, as in organizations with a relatively young work force.”Considering these seven approaches, do you have to set one style and forget it?Of course not. Agility, flexibility and transparency are the best additives to any of these styles.“Instead of seeing yourself as a leader operating with one fixed style, raise your head and look outward to context. Think, what’s the situation, the objective, and importantly, what does your team need from you? Rapidly compute and then apply the requisite leadership action,” write Michael Parke and Anna Johnston in the London Business School.“When we view ourselves as versatile leaders able to respond to different environments with a menu of different leadership actions, we’re more likely to break down our rigidity,” they continue. “We’re less likely to overuse the same old style. Unless you’re working in a vacuum (or a completely stable environment where change doesn’t occur), realizing that style is what you try out and not who you are will give you a greater chance of success.”