Leadership matters, because it’s a skill we develop thanks to three important influences in our lives: education, personality and challenges.
Education gives you the theoretical framework to evaluate each situation, teaches you to look around for solutions and implement a problem-solving flowchart in your head. Personality provides the attitude to face any particular challenge, and to evaluate how capable you are to resolve it efficiently on your own or helped by others. And the challenges you’ve faced in life take you to an empirical framework that leads to certainty, which is useful in order to resolve difficulties and problems with a structure.
This said, there are at least five types of leaderships that use education, personality and challenges you’ve faced differently: i) Laissez-Faire, ii) Autocratic, iii) Participative, iv) Transactional, v) transformational.
I’d like to go and explain briefly each of them, and later I’ll tell you which one I think I’ve developed, and the one I considered, nowadays, very obsolete and negative.
This person pretty much doesn’t give a crap about what the team is doing or planning. Confides the strategy in a very experienced group of people that needs close to zero supervision. He doesn’t get involved.
This guy is a jerk, just as an example, the Cuban government or the North Korean dictatorship represent this kind of leadership. An autocratic leader pretty much does as he wishes without considering others. He is extremely against creativeness, common sense and rewarding great performance.
This guy values the team’s opinion and everyone’s perspective counts. This keeps the group motivated and keen to do their best in order to collaborate to find a solution. He or she makes the team members to come together, as part of a bigger plan, focused on delivering great decisions and strategies for amazing projects.
This is a more traditional approach on leadership, this person performs as a supervisor of a few, driving his team on a scheme of punishments and rewards. So, the goals are set, and the employee has to accomplish those goals in order to be rewarded, if not, a punishment is expected. Usually employees do just enough, not looking for a reward, but trying more to avoid any kind of negative outcomes.
Finally, this lad pretty much likes showing off, but still, makes enough of an impact within his team to motivate them to perform above average. He requires a lot of the organization and high management’s support.
So, in the end, I reckon that, thanks to the great mentors I’ve had, the experience I’ve gathered and the places I’ve been, plus, the variables we already mentioned, I’m a very participative leader.
My mission in life is to serve as a guide to my team, as a mentor, as a person that will encourage them to become better professionals, and more knowledgeables of their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. My goal is to boost my team’s productivity, making them feel important and relevant to the main objectives of the company. Because my team matters, and success is only achieved by teamwork and positive attitude.
What about the Autocratic leader? Well, we ought to know how to identify this kind of “leadership” right away, as sometimes, it doesn’t encourage a productive environment. The Autocratic pursues a selfish goal of protagonism and power, their contribution to the group is weak, and their manners lack the basic “Thank you” and “please”, which seems forgotten in their vocabulary.
I usually deal with this kind of leader with empathy, kindness, listening and a good attitude. Remember: smile. It confuses those around you.
What kind of leader are you? But the real question I reckon is: What kind of these types of leaderships will encourage you to become a better person? What would you like to be for others, just a boss, or a mentor?