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What Your Leadership Type Says and How It Impacts the Organization

By Seiki "Stan" Hirota

Originally published October 23, 2019 on LinkedIn

Whether you manage a small team or a large enterprise, the type of leader you are has a direct impact on the operational effectiveness and overall performance of your team. How do you motivate employees? Reward and recognize efforts? Communicate to the team? Make business decisions and prioritize initiatives? Contribute to employee engagement, brand equity, and superior experience?

Leaders must have the awareness that they have an influence on every aspect of the team, so whether you’re cultivating a particular methodology or fall into a textbook type, your performance and professionalism are critical. Here’s a quick look at three general types of leaders that I personally think all performing organizations must have – and how they impact employees and the organization.

Leadership Styles

Leaders embody a range of styles, from ultra-caring to very hands-off. By some account, experts outline nine, including autocratic leaders (the strictest, most rigid and controlling) to servant leaders (who share the responsibility and empower). Some leaders operate from a democratic point of view, while others get employees to act based on a witty or charming personality. Whether one leads by affinity or an iron fist, the way you prioritize initiatives, interact with employees, and generally act on a daily basis are defined by leadership type.

3 Types of Leaders

As outlined in “Nimble Leaders,” an article published in the Harvard Business Review, leadership types fall into these categories:

  1. Entrepreneurial Leaders: These professionals get down into the trenches with employees, possess a willingness to act, and are always looking for growth and improvement opportunities. Entrepreneurial leaders are self-confident, resilient, strategic and engaging, especially with the customers that they serve. These leaders are okay with change, if there is good evidence to support a necessity.

  2. Enabling Leaders: These professionals are the more seasoned leaders at the organization, and they have the ability to promote self-development among project leaders. These professionals are basically coaches, mentoring their teams while keeping their eyes on bigger business goals such as the annual budget to hit. Enabling leaders proactively share company information to ensure that their team members understand the big picture of what’s going on across the company. They lead with empowerment.

  3. Architectural Leaders: These professionals are experienced leaders who focus on changes that impact the organizational culture, resources, structure and operating models. They respond to external threats in business, to develop relevant strategies and ways of execution to boost efficiency and effectiveness in business while reinforcing the sustainability of the organization.

While no leader can embody all three roles, there are times when a dynamic leader will embrace the various qualities within the different categories. For example, and entrepreneurial leader, or one who embodies the characteristics of an entrepreneur, will keep an eye on the needs of the customer, often making sacrifices in business to proactively solve the pain points of the customers. But the entrepreneurial leader must also act as an architectural leader to ensure decision-making in business aligns with the mission, vision, and the long-term direction of the organization.

Why Knowing Matters

Professionals who understand how they best communicate, know how they prefer to operate, act authentic to their beliefs, and makes constant effort in making everyone aware of what’s on their minds, are often in the best position to hire and retain employees, who will be a cultural and professional fit. For example, if you’re an entrepreneurial leader, hiring a manager who fears change or is most comfortable with the status quo, might not be the right choice. By definition, leaders have to lead, and they are most successful when they do so by example. By understanding what you’re leadership type says about you, you can leverage your best skills to make the greatest impact and the positive influence on your employees and the organization.

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