Discovering your inner leader’beast’​ style

Photo by Kurt Cotoaga on Unsplash

There are some important things that we may miss as young managers that in my opinion are crucial to succeed in the job and to be effective. Success is all about people, mentoring, taking action when needed, guiding, and leading by example.

To achieve these things, there are some elementary topics that I think should be really highlighted and to make my point clear, I've compiled some small suggestions.

Uncovering your leadership style

It is important to know and understand the different types of leadership styles and learn when to use them and how.

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Usually, we develop our own leadership style even without realizing it, but, are we applying it in the right way? Ideally, we will adapt to every situation and we can learn to use each style in the required moment.

Authoritarian Leadership

Authoritarian leadership styles allow a leader to impose expectations and define outcomes. A one-person show can turn out to be successful in situations when a leader is the most knowledgeable in the team. Although this is an efficient strategy in time-constrained periods, creativity will be sacrificed since input from the team is limited.

Participative Leadership

Participative leadership styles are rooted in democratic theory. The essence is to involve team members in the decision-making process. Team members thus feel included, engaged, and motivated to contribute. The leader will normally have the last word in the decision-making process.

Delegative leadership

Also known as “laissez-faire leadership”, a delegative leadership style focuses on delegating initiative to team members. This can be a successful strategy if team members are competent, take responsibility, and prefer engaging in individual work.

Transactional leadership

Transactional leadership styles use “transactions” between a leader and his or her followers — rewards, punishments, and other exchanges — to get the job done. The leader sets clear goals, and team members know how they’ll be rewarded for their compliance.

Transformational Leadership

In transformational leadership styles, the leader inspires his or her followers with a vision and then encourages and empowers them to achieve it. The leader also serves as a role model for the vision.

This can serve as a quick guide on leadership styles but you can find further information, pros, and cons here. Understanding the importance, limitations, and cons of each of these, will greatly help you in creating a culture of value.

Understanding the value of high performing teams

When a team can be called a high-performing team that is a great achievement. A High performing team is not only productive but a working unit that is completely aligned with one single goal and vision in mind.

As a manager and leader, it is important to understand how to build a high-performing team, how to detect it, and how to maintain it.

Once you are familiar with the concept, you need to evaluate your team’s interaction type and assert if it has the traits of a high-performing team, if it is missing some, why? Some of these traits are:

  • They have clear goals and understand the company vision.
  • There’s a common understanding of how the team’s vision fits within the larger organization's vision.
  • Clear role and responsibilities, if there are shared responsibilities, they can self-organize.
  • They communicate clearly and effectively.
  • You can breathe trust and respect among the team members.
  • They celebrate success together, they back each other up and they aim for excellence, on a personal level, and as a team.

Once you detect what is missing, you need to start following up with these topics closely, until you as a leader set clear expectations and make sure everyone is on the same page with the overall mission and vision. Heres’ a nice HBR article about it.

There are of course many other topics that we may miss when starting as young managers/leaders that are crucial to be effective. Starting in a new area is always tough, you are busy learning + taking care of your new responsibilities and without the right coaching and mentorship, you can ignore important bits.

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Alexander Polanco

Alexander Polanco

Head of Product Engineering @ Vimcar