Welcome to the fourth installment of Leadership & Management Focus from DLC Training.
If there was ever a time that our leadership skills were going to be put to the test, it is now. Thousands of professionals are adapting to life working from home, following strict regulations, brought in by governments around the world, in a bid to combat the global pandemic Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As a manager, trying to maintain healthy levels of productivity, ensuring business objectives are met, preventing any breaches of policy or regulations, and looking after the well-being of our team members, may seem like a typical day in the office! With your team spread far and wide, your ability to succeed as a leader is going to be depend on you as an individual.
A leader, by definition, motivates and directs a group of individuals to work towards achieving a common goal. But do all leaders fit this description and fulfil their principal purpose? By understanding what type of leader, or manager, you are naturally, you gain a better insight into how you can achieve the desired results from your team while working remotely (and when you get back to the office). You can begin to understand areas for personal development, and you can develop the ability to adapt your leadership styles to encourage better performance from those you manage.
Styles of Leadership
How leadership is manifested within an organisation can almost always be generally categorised into one of the following leadership styles; Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-fare. Let’s take a look at all three.
Autocratic leaders are those who take a dictatorial approach to lead a team, aware of the fact they have all the power and responsibility within their department/the organisation. This can be very beneficial when needing to make decisions in a restricted time-frame; however, team members can feel depreciated when their opinions and ideas are not considered.
Democratic leaders are, as you would imagine, quite the opposite of autocratic leaders. Also widely known as participative leaders, they encourage their team to get involved with decision-making and ensure all opinions and ideas are considered. This type of leadership can make team members feel more valued and satisfied with their job. However, within all organisations, there comes a time where quick thinking and decision-making is imperative. If all team members feel they need to get their opinions across, rather than the leader moving forward with their idea within the required time-frame (which may not always be the best option), the consequences of being out of time could be far worse.
Laissez-faire translates to let do (let people do as they choose). Leaders who fall into this category pass on all decision-making and tasks to their team members, but take ownership of the work carried out. The only active role the leader plays in this instance is ensuring the team have the required resources to carry out said responsibilities. Team members feel empowered by having so much control over their tasks; however, they can lack cohesion and jobs can go off track without being monitored.
Time to find out What type of leader you are;
When it comes to decision-making
- I make the final decision, but encourage input from the team in making the decision
- I let my team make the decisions
- I have the final say over a decision made within my team
I consider ideas from members of my team
- Rarely, I am the team leader and most knowledgeable
- All the time, a group of ideas is better than one idea
- All the time, I rely on the team to decide what direction we take
When it comes to giving orders
- I let the team do what they want
- I provide direction, offer support, and I’m open to feedback from the team
- I tell my team what to do and how to do it
If a team member makes a mistake
- They need to be pulled up immediately and punished
- They can figure out how to resolve the errors on their own
- They receive feedback as well as support and guidance for their development
How much do you monitor the performance of your team?
- I check in on team progress regularly and reiterate I am available should they require any support
- I continually monitor their performance to ensure all tasks are carried out correctly
- I leave them alone to do their job, they know more about their role than I do
Which best describes your approach to motivating your team members?
- People are motivated when they are involved in decision-making and feel valued
- They motivate themselves
- The old-fashioned reward and punishment method
What are team members motivated by?
- They need to feel secure in their employment
- A need for independence
- They need to feel valued and appreciated
Do you accept input from group members?
- All of the time, team members make the majority of the decisions anyway
- No, it would take too much time to discuss ideas from all of the team, and this is not productive
- I do accept input but make the final decision
When something goes wrong I
- Resolve it on my own
- Take ideas for solutions from other team members
- Expect my team to solve the problem
Leaders succeed by
- Helping team members reach their potential
- Leave the team alone to flourish
- Giving clear orders for team members to follow
Calculate your answer’s
The Results are in!
You show signs of autocratic leadership.
Autocratic leaders feel they need to be fully involved with all aspects of their team’s progress towards task completion. Authoritarian leaders tend to be seen in a negative light, but when it comes to task completion and achieving business objectives, they are good leaders to have around.
What you’re good at:
- Keeping the team on track towards task completion.
- Completing critical tasks promptly.
What you need to be careful with:
- Not to overlook creative ideas and solutions put forward by your team members. Two heads are better than one, and you’re lucky enough to have a full team! Take advantage of that.
- Don’t negatively impact the motivation of your team – they need to feel valued; taking their ideas on board is a sure way of achieving this.
You are a diplomatic leader. You’re able to make decisions, but take the time to consider the ideas of your team to find the best solution.
What you’re good at:
- Making your team feel valued by involving them in the decision making process. You may not be aware of this, but including your team is a significant motivational factor!
- Finding all possible outcomes and making a well-informed decision based on this.
What you need to be careful with:
- Not to spend too much time consulting others, especially when time is of the essence.
- Don’t let your team think you can’t make decisions for them – this will cause them to doubt your abilities.
Mostly Coffee Cups:
You show signs of a laissez-faire leader. Laissez-faire leaders tend to give their team full autonomy, allowing them to make crucial decisions and ultimately carry out the task or project unmonitored. The part this leader plays is providing the necessary resources for the team to carry out their work.
You’re good at:
- Letting your team flourish and develop, making critical organisational decisions is a great learning experience for them.
- Making your team feel confident in their work, knowing they don’t need to be continuously monitored.
What you need to be careful with:
- A lack of guidance could result in failure to complete the task – you need to make sure your team is always going in the right direction.
- Your team could feel demotivated. Giving them autonomy is great, but giving them so much responsibility that they’re unsure of what direction to take is likely to result is frustration. A happy (and well informed) team is a successful team!
Whatever stage you are on your leadership journey, DLC can help you enhance your management capabilities, understand the modern workplace, and prepare you for the next stage of your professional development.
The Leadership & Management Focus has been created to update you on the latest developments and methodology being adopted across the business landscape to help everyone for team leaders to strategic directors excel as leaders, supporting the individuals within their teams to achieve their aims and the objectives of the business.
Each week we will be releasing a new issue of Leadership & Management Focus, make sure you are following us on social or email email@example.com to sign up to receive each new installment directly to your inbox.
Nicola Barnes studied for her CMI qualification with DLC Training, find out about her time as a student here. To find out how we can help you achieve success like Nicola, speak to one of our Expert Course Advisors today. Telephone 0800 012 6770 Email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us on Live Chat.