What kind of style a good leadership reflects? Can it be defined uniformly? Is it in fact a style or is it personality? Both or something else?
Questions that fire up discussions, writings, blogs, books …
Alexander the Great, Mao Zedong, Mandela, Hitler, Gandhi, Che Guevara, Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, all were leaders. Some of them were charismatic, all of them influential, some fierce and some inspirational. What attracted people to follow them? Was it their leadership quality that attracted masses, or their actions made them the leaders? They were definitely heroes or anti-heroes. They all failed many times, yet they were remembered for their greatness. Failures are soon forgotten, greatness will always be remembered.
Most western books describe and define leadership process with explanation of the way the leader exercises and manifests his leadership process. Thusly, they try to combine them into the most common leadership styles: laissez-faire, democratic or participative, charismatic, bureaucratic, and autocratic. We all know that nobody complies in full with only one style, but the prevailing one is then assigned to that leader. Due to this, the researchers identify subtypes to those five main leadership styles, such as strategic leadership, team leadership, facilitating leadership. Even further distinct divisions about leadership are made based on influence styles, such as cross-cultural leadership and coaching. Some authors characterize leadership as people-oriented or relations-oriented, for instance, servant, task oriented, transactional or transformational leadership. Others classify leadership characterized by situation, such as emergent leadership style, innovative, visionary, command and control, and again also transformational leadership. There is a plethora of definitions of styles and how leaders exercise the leadership process over subordinates. But does this really explain what a leader is and what his style is?
A fact is that leadership style should fit the organization’s culture and type as well as conform to the kind of people the leader interacts with. I would say it’s a process of a continual maintenance and refinement of a company’s culture and leadership style that allows a success.
It takes a committed and dedicated leader, one that runs the ship as a meritocracy, works hard to build enduring relationships internally and externally and has a balance of compassion, reason, purpose, integrity, understanding and drive so that each employee feels and acts as a stakeholder in every engagement. A leader with great IQ and EQ attributes.
Those leaders assemble an organization framework, set strategic direction and empower the people to make the appropriate decisions in their performance. Leader is then accountable to ensure that they have the support, funding, resources, political leverage and coverage to do their work effectively. Leaders embrace the responsibility and accountability and expect the same commitment.
So it is not about “leadership style” or defining the leader’s style – no, it is about personality and leader’s internal virtues.