The "Great Man" theory emerged as a prominent idea in leadership and psychology in the 1800s.
Leaders were seen as heroic figures with exceptional intelligence, courage, charisma, and vision. These traits were thought to be ingrained in their personality and were not easily teachable or acquirable by others. For over a century, this was the overarching approach to leadership. It wasn’t until the 1940s that things started to change.
Different Leadership Styles
Autocratic leaders exerted high levels of control and authority over their subordinates, making decisions without seeking input from the team.
Democratic leaders encouraged participation and involvement from team members, seeking their input and opinions when making decisions. This approach aimed to promote teamwork, employee satisfaction, and creativity.
Laissez-Faire Leaders provided little direction or supervision, allowing employees significant autonomy in their roles.
Transactional leaders relied on contingent rewards and corrective actions to drive employee motivation.
Transformational leaders motivated and influenced their followers by appealing to higher-order needs and inspiring them to go beyond their self-interests. These leaders were often seen as visionary and capable of inspiring organizational change.
Situational Leaders were encouraged to be more flexible in their approach, providing the necessary support and guidance to meet their team's varying needs.
Servant leaders prioritize the well-being and growth of their team members, believing that by supporting their employees, they can foster a more motivated and committed workforce.
Authentic leaders lead with their values, beliefs, and emotions, inspiring trust and fostering authentic relationships with their team.
While there might be a mix of a few leadership styles that you identify with in the list above, we hope that most of your style leans toward authenticity. With that in mind, we wanted to share some tips about making decisions, delegating, and celebrating that could help improve your management style, which will benefit you and your team.
Ask, don't tell.
Where do you fall on the scale of asking for your teams' input, thoughts, and opinions and telling them what to do? When we discuss this topic in leadership workshops, most people say it depends on the situation. True. However - most people recognise that if they're busy or pushed against a deadline, they are more inclined to 'tell' - because it's easier. And sure, it might be at the time, but remember that the more you ask, the more empowered your team will feel and the more they will grow. Otherwise, how will they ever learn?
Delegate like your life depends on it.
The sooner you realise you don't have to do it all, the better. Your ego might not like to hear it, but your team might be better at the 'stuff' you're clinging onto than you are. Empower your team by assigning tasks based on their strengths and areas of expertise. Trusting your team members with responsibilities relieves your burden and demonstrates your confidence in their abilities, ultimately leading to a more motivated and invested workforce.
Prioritise employee development
We know that when we get busy (when are we not busy?!) that employee development can often get put to the bottom of the pile. But it's key to prioritise. Here's why: Investing in employee development not only enhances individual skills but also leads to increased organizational productivity. It doesn't have to be theoretical training opportunities - but perhaps workshops, skill-building programmes, on-the-job training, or job swap/job shadowing. Offer opportunities aligning with personal and professional growth objectives to encourage them to take on new challenges and watch them grow!
Take time to acknowledge excellence and foster a positive work culture.
Encourage a supportive atmosphere where employees feel valued, appreciated, and recognised for their contributions. Celebrate big and small achievements and take your time to share the win before you rush to the next thing on the list. Recognising and rewarding good performance demonstrates your appreciation for hard work and motivates employees to continue excelling. Implement a robust recognition system with formal and informal appreciation for individual and team achievements.
It's important to remember that no two people in your team are the same - so a one-size fits all management style won’t work. Leaders and managers must learn to recognise their default style and flex according to the person and the situation.
If you'd like to delve deeper into leadership styles and learn how to transform your skills, check out our 'Flex your management style course' here. https://thehustlehouse.thinkific.com/courses/flex-your-management-style.