Nov 24, 2008

Leadership styles

Different leaders approach getting their teams to a solution differently. Here are some patterns I've observed and their effectiveness...

1) "Let me show you the way"- Leader's focus is to get a task done
- "I know, follow me" style

2) "We don't know, lets figure it out"
- Leader's focus is to let the team find a solution. Leader shepherds the team and is a coach, a facilitator in this case

3) "Let me help the team figure it out themselves"

- Leader's focus is to grow the team
- Leader knows a solution but doesn't give it away to the team. He/she uses techniques like questioning to help focus the team directionally
- In this process, the team solution could be different from what the leader imagined but he/she is fine with it (a different answer/outcome isn't bad if it is directionally correct)


  1. This is an interesting way to describe directing, supporting and coaching styles of leadership. However, I believe one style doesn't work in all situations. Effective style is one that is aligned to the development level of the follower.

    I have posted an entry on situational leadership that explains this further.

  2. Good points Rajesh... The styles of directing, supporting and coaching are well known and well understood. The interesting question is -

    At what frequency are these styles practiced and why?

    I'll post some thoughts on it soon...