Leadership is vital for any business or team that wants to thrive. With the right approach, a leader can not only get results but encourage the growth of their team as a whole and the individuals within it.
Research shows that leadership is the number one factor determining whether a business thrives or declines.
There are many different leadership styles: authoritarian, participative, delegative, transformational, transactional and situational, with more styles emerging all the time. It is difficult to suggest which style is most effective, as this depends largely on the leader, the team and the environment.
It’s widely agreed that the best leaders don’t just stick to one style, but take aspects of each style and adapt to each person and situation.
A process of evaluation
In order to continue improving, a good leader makes regular opportunities to evaluate themselves and their team.
To do this, ask yourself some questions, such as:
- What are your strengths? And once you have identified your strengths, look at which of these you need to work on developing further. This may be the skill that is currently helping you get the most out of your team, or the skill you’d like to improve on to deal with a future challenge.
- What are your flaws? We all have them: the skills we’d like to have but don’t have much strength in. The only way to improve is to be honest with yourself about where you’re letting yourself and your team down. To find the flaws that matter, it can be worth thinking about a recent situation that you didn’t handle as well as you’d have liked to, and consider which skills would have helped you do better.
- How can you develop your leadership? There are many ways you can learn to improve your strengths, reduce your flaws and create new skills. For example, you might like to ask someone you respect to become your mentor, or enrol in a worthwhile course.
- How can your team help you? Perhaps the most daunting method of evaluation is to ask people who know your leadership style inside out: the people you coach or manage. With a questionnaire or open conversations, you can discover their thoughts on how you could be a better people manager.
Strong leadership is important for every organisation, no matter how large or small. The good news is that with an honest approach and regular evaluation, you can become a better leader and build a better business.