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Creating Your Style
Have you ever wondered how some people developed their style of leadership? What inspired them to lead the way they do? Behave the way they do? Say the things they say?
Over the years I’ve worked for a wide variety of people, each individual in their own way. Each had their own personality and their own strengths, weaknesses, and methods for getting things done. Some were technically strong, while others focused more heavily on people. Some were loud and outspoken, while others were more thoughtful and quiet.
Some I liked. Some I didn’t.
As I developed my own style of leadership, I found myself pulling things from many of them to create something unique. One boss was particularly good at delegating. At first I thought he was trying to dump work off on others, but then I realized how much more was getting done because he wasn’t trying to do it himself. I realized that delegation was not about getting other people to do your work, but about being effective, efficient, and developing your team members.
Another boss was known for looking at the big picture. Even though we were in accounting, he was often sought out for advice from leaders in other parts of the organization. He could clearly see what was best for his department, but made decisions based on what was best for the business. I learned to think beyond my own boundaries and focus on what was best for the customer, not just what was best or easiest for me.
One boss had the ability to clearly identify the strengths of the people around him. He would then structure projects that allowed people to fully utilize these strengths while helping to stretch them in new ways. I found myself searching for the best in each employee and trying to find ways to utilize those skills.
While working in Dallas, I saw a boss face a moral dilemma. There was the easy answer to the problem at hand, one that no one would ever really question. Or, there was the right answer, which caused him more personal pain but allowed him to know he had done the correct thing. I watched him make the right choice and admit that I was proud to work for him. I knew that when I faced a similar choice I would make the right decision as well. He had taught me well.
Of course, I also learned some things not to do. More than one of my bosses fell into the “screamer” category. I learned from them that people really don’t work any harder when you scream at them, they just don’t tell you the truth so you THINK things are ok, even when they are not.
I worked for one boss who didn’t understand what we did. Didn’t care to understand what we did, and made no attempt to ever figure it out. Of course what I took away from that experience was how little people respect you when they know you just don’t care.
One thing I noticed about all of my “bad bosses” was how insecure they were; always looking over their shoulders, afraid to give honest praise, and how they would often not model the behaviors they would demand of others. I don’t know if they thought that no one noticed the inconsistency in their behavior, or if they themselves didn’t realize that they were not “walking the talk.” But I realized that my employees were watching me. And, whether I wanted to admit to it or not, they knew what I was good at and what I wasn’t good at.
The point is that you have likely learned your leadership style from a variety of sources. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. But I would encourage you to take an inventory of your own leadership style and see if your behavior is consistent with your beliefs.
I’ll talk more about this in next week’s blog.
At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
• Your Company Culture
• The Leadership Styles of your key managers
• The Expectations of your Employees
When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.
Until next time.....
ECI Learning Systems, LLC