There are two leaders. One is the outspoken and opinionated leader with a set direction and agenda. One is the quiet and reserved leader who leads by consensus and leads from behind. While every one of us will predominately fall into one of these two groupings, these are not exclusive memberships and based on a given situation, we will exhibit the behavior outlined for each.
The outspoken and opinionated leader is someone who likes to take charge. Knowing both what needs to be done and how it needs to be done, this leader is trying to drive results by offering specific direction. This leader can sometimes be seen as not inclusive or as controlling.
The quiet and reserved leader is someone who likes to generate agreement. Knowing that differences exist, this leader is seen as a peace-maker, striving for the ideal solution. This leader can sometimes be seen as undetermined or slow to respond.
It is important to note that neither approach is wrong. Both types of leaders can be extremely successful. There are three ways to try to balance out our role as one of these two leaders. Balancing out the type of leader you are does not imply changing from one end of the spectrum to another. Rather, these ways of balancing out are methods of increasing the benefits of each type of leader so we can function better in our predominate style based on the situation.
Let me share these three ways with you.
- Acceptance. Once you have taken the opportunity to view your leadership style in the context of these two leaders, you will need to accept where you fall on this spectrum. Accepting it means acknowledging where you fit, recognizing the positives of where you fit and not trying to change from where you fit.
- Transference. After determining where you fit and being comfortable with your style, you can begin to see the other leaders at the table and that key ability enables you to transfer tasks that will benefit more from the style of those other leaders. This is huge in balancing out your leadership. You can focus on where you fit by knowing where others fit as well.
- Perseverance. The ability to hang on, push forward and keep going is an invaluable asset in a competitive environment. The struggle between these two leaders – even how we fit amongst them – can be distractions from remaining focused on our own leadership style. The ability to persevere in the acceptance of our own leadership style and the transference of issues best suited to a team member’s leadership style will produce dividends of success as we seek to balance out our own roles.
These three ways of balancing out both a take charge or a generate agreement leadership style, are highly effective. In either case, there exists great value that both leadership styles can bring to a team and recognizing that is often the enabler of so much success.