Be the leader your team needs now

Be the leader your team needs now

Last month we invited you to tell us about your leadership styles. Not one person admitted to being a “dictator,” which might be surprising considering how many workers complain about their bosses micromanaging their work.

Autocratic leadership isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, in moments of crisis and situations that demand fast decisions, being a dictator may be the only way to move your team forward.

The vast majority of you—69%—say you involve employees in decision making and build consensus. That democratic or participative style can be highly effective in gaining staff buy-in and leading younger employees, who expect to have input into their work.

Nearly 20% of you describe yourself as a delegator, who trusts team members to do their work with little or no direction. That style can work well with a highly skilled and experienced staff. It’s important that leaders still connect with the employees, however.

Only 13% wrote in with variations on the approach we hoped to see: that you alter your leadership style based on the team’s needs.

Too often leaders default to using the style they are comfortable with, instead of first thinking about what type of leadership would best suit their goals. You may need to lead outside your comfort zone or delegate a project to someone with a different mix of leadership skills.

Remember this quote as you consider how to lead your team today:

“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”

—Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell,
who also served as a four-star general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff



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