Magazine article Management Today

Wise Words: Self Coach ... Leadership Styles

Magazine article Management Today

Wise Words: Self Coach ... Leadership Styles

Article excerpt

Would you describe your leadership style as more 'push' than 'pull'? Or is it the other way round? The twin levers of successful leadership are support and challenge.

SUPPORT

Listening, coaching Suiting tasks to skills Promoting harmony

Being process focused

Emphasising development Encouraging innovation

CHALLENGE

Telling, directing Setting stretch targets Demanding performance

Being task focused

Focusing on achievement Being intolerant of failure

One is not better than the other, but we need to be able to operate in both modes in order to succeed. In which quadrant do you tend to be?

If you naturally tend to provide high support but little challenge (top left), the people you lead will probably enjoy the happy atmosphere and working conditions you provide, and your interest in them as human beings. The snag is that you risk breeding mediocrity. You probably don't manage underperformance, wishing to avoid conflict, which irritates potential high performers, who see slackers getting away with it. If people aren't ever confronted with their shortcomings and there are no stretching targets, then staff who would otherwise be prepared to go the extra mile will become demotivated and leave. …

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