One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to leadership styles. Just like snowflakes, every human being is a little bit different. They respond differently to situations, even if on the surface the situation looks exactly the same.
Good leadership skills are no different than anything else when it comes to each person having to develop their own style of leadership.
Over the four decades I have been in a leadership role I have discovered that the key to being a good leader is getting to know your staff. Try to understand what motivates them. Talk to them like you would anyone else in your life, i.e., don’t interrogate them. Try to find out what makes them tick.
I can see people rolling their eyes right now trying to tell me that they don’t have time to become their employee’s best friend. This is not the objective at all. The objective is to get to know them so that you can understand them. Understanding them will translate into treating them like a person and less like paid labor. This will also develop loyalty, which is a very valuable piece of leadership!
Remember that good leadership skills are defined as leading a person, or persons, in a common direction whereby they can be the very best that they can be.
Using a professional sports team as an example the Washington Redskins signed several high paid and very talented players several years ago. Going into the season their hopes were as high as you could possibly imagine. Winning the Super Bowl was not hoped for but expected! After all the talent was there; however, the leadership couldn’t get them all going in the same direction so that as a team they could be the very best that they could be. Instead the team had a bunch of very high priced talented players all selfishly wanting to be the star. The season was a disaster! Keep in mind that I am a huge Washington Redskin fan and it was extremely frustrating for me to watch!
Good leadership is always the difference! One size doesn’t fit all and it never will. Understanding that as leaders we must understand what talents our staff have and utilize them in a way that will be the most benefit to everyone. Doing so will not only grow the business, but more importantly it builds trust, loyalty, and develops the employee.
As a leader my desire has always been to build a relationship with my staff that will create a hunger for them to want to perform at their very best!
I will always take time to talk with them when they are ready to talk. I will always acknowledge them in a way that puts us all on equal ground. If I happen to see them outside the work site while shopping I will always speak to them like we are neighbors instead of boss employee!
Again, no one employee responds exactly the same way. If we try to approach our leadership style as one size fits all it will not take long for them to despise you and it will be contagious throughout your department.
Thank you and May God Bless You!
There are many situations at work and in our personal lives where we need to utilize good leadership skills to produce a good outcome. Having been in business for over four decades and raising four children while being happily married for almost thirty years I feel there is a lot I can pass along.