Leadership gets better over time. Leadership takes us and others to places we’ve not yet been, and may have been reluctant to venture into alone.
Successful leaders know how to effectively communicate with others in ways they understand, in their “language” if you will. Many of us are familiar with situational leadership. There is not just one way to lead, just as one style is not “better” than another. Competence and commitment factor into how all leadership styles and behaviors can be most effective, along with understanding personality profiles such as Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Communication, and Conflict types.
There is a need to understand and work towards achieving common goals, but how you get there may differ. We’ve worked with teams that want to have a step by step plan, with sub tasks, for achieving each goal. They want to be told who will do “what” by “when.” We’ve also worked with teams that prefer to create their own plan. They want to have a clear understanding of the desired result, but want little or no input on how to get there.
Both methods can work. Strong leaders understand when they need to be involved and give direction; they also know when to let go and let others run with it. They know and understand their team member styles, and factor in experience levels, the willingness and desire to learn, and confidence and collaboration levels when assigning projects.
Since teams, leaders, partners, clients, and direct reports are all subject to change, we need to constantly tune our skills and behaviors. What worked well for us in the past, may not always work successfully over time.
Leadership truly is a journey. We encourage you to continually hone your skills and utilize the leadership tools that assist with knowing and responding to the styles and preferences of others, and the willingness to adjust your style to obtain optimal results.
Enjoy your journey!