During this time of female empowerment, there is so much opportunity for leadership. There are so many different leadership styles and ways of being. Leadership can also be very challenging. So, what makes a good leader? It’s commonly defined as someone that has vision, motivates and inspires others to perform and achieve the goals of the group or organization.
Natural Born Leaders
Among pack animals, there is always one leader, the alpha of the group, humans are very similar. Do you remember elementary school days when you had a group of friends? There was always one girl that was the unspoken leader of the group and the rest of the friends followed her lead. As adults it’s usually the female in the group that everyone is drawn to, that’s the alpha. Natural born leaders are usually alphas and have an instinct to help others. It’s mostly a gut feeling that will lead them in certain situations to do the right thing or what’s best and sometimes will even take a hit to protect others.
Everyone has their own leadership style or preference. If you look it up, you will find lists of styles including; authoritarian, democratic, Laisseze-faire, paternalistic and a few others.
1. Authoritarian is a bit of an old school style of leading people. In this style, the leader gives orders, assigns tasks without consulting with employees and the leader takes full responsibility and assumes full authority. Negativity, threats and punishment are also part of this style.
2. The democratic style is more participatory of everyone in the group. Leaders will encourage input from the group in an effort to have everyone involved in making the decision and creating the outcome together. Employees have shown increased loyalty when they are a part of creating their environment and fosters enthusiasm.
3. The Laisseze-faire style is when the leader does not involve themselves in the decision making process, almost removes themselves and allows for the group to self govern and does not give the group direction. The goal of this style is that employees will rise to the occasion when you get out of their way.
4. Paternalistic leadership is just that, father knows best. It’s a style that did well in Japan and the leader of the organization treats the employees like family members offering good benefits and protecting the employees. The leader typically makes the decisions just like a father would as head of a household.
Traits of A Good Leader
- Good Communicator
- Ability To Make Decisions
Learning To Be A Leader
You might wonder, “what if i’ve never managed people before or lead a group, is there a way to learn to lead?” The answer is, yes! You don’t have to be a natural born leader, it’s like anything else in life and can be learned through developing skills. One great way to lead is to volunteer to be a lead on a project at work. Another is to find a trusted mentor and ask them if they would be interested in helping guide you in your professional development.
In sum, there are many leadership styles, even more than what’s listed here. It’s up to you to choose or decide what kind of leader you want to be. Sometimes it’s a mix of the different styles and you could even bring in your own uniqueness. Leadership is not a one size fits all, follow a list, dot the I’s and cross the T’s sort of thing. There is definitely skill to it, but great leaders are those that are in tune with their instincts and have high EQ (emotional quotient.) Leadership also comes with great responsibility, people are counting on your guidance. In any case, how will you know if leadership is something you could be good at if you don’t try? When I was asked to lead a multimillion dollar non-profit organization, I was scared initially and almost said no. I share that story and more on the Sexy Boss Babe podcast, click link below to listen.
A great resource on learning or strengthening your leadership and speaking ability is through joining your local Toast Master organization.
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