As the realities of and expectations about work have evolved, so too has the concept of leadership. While once typically attributed to management roles, leadership is increasingly important in roles that involve stronger elements of communicating vision, and inspiring and empowering teams.
Not everyone possesses the qualities to be a successful leader. Strong leaders proactively face decisions, motivate those around them, expand the scope of their roles beyond their job description, and share their knowledge with others.
As different leadership capabilities mean different things to each individual, there is no one best way to lead. Individuals must build their leadership foundation based on their personal values and ethics. Measuring where their values align to certain attributes can help individuals to determine their authentic leadership style.
Individuals can uncover their authentic leadership style based on where they position themselves in terms of dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality. By engaging a certified predictive index partner such as Red Wolf Group you can determine an individual’s workplace-related behaviours, their pace of work, their motivation and how they approach risk.
Individuals that do this can identify their areas of strength and incorporate them more easily into their leadership style. These leaders will be more self-aware and can therefore build a stronger culture based on trust and respect as they appear more genuine.
The most successful leaders are those that can reflect on who they are as individuals and how these qualities can be transferred into their leadership style. Understanding where their strengths lie lets them build a leadership approach that complements those strengths, while identifying areas of weakness means managers can surround themselves with individuals who fill the gaps to create a more effective team.
The ability to build a strong team can have a positive effect in periods of change. Leaders who can bring order to chaos in times of change can minimise levels of disruption among teams.
Leaders who are confident in their authentic leadership style are more likely to: communicate a strong vision to their teams; set realistic expectations for individual team members; and ensure staff feel valued and involved in the changes taking place by asking for regular feedback. Leaders that take the time to understand the uniqueness of their staff can foster closer relationships with them and cause less resistance to change when it inevitably occurs.
Determining their authentic leadership style can make managers stronger leaders as they are more aware of themselves and the complexities of their teams. This then lets managers establish the most effective ways of working together to engage everyone’s individual strengths.
Self-awareness is the first and arguably the most important step in an individual’s leadership journey. Those who can identify and understand where their personal values align to certain attributes can more confidently identify their authentic leadership style, understand team dynamics, and tackle tasks to a higher standard.
Daniel Johns is head of services, ASI Solutions and vice chair, ANZ Channel Community, CompTIA