When a radical change is desperately needed, a Visionary leader is best. But in the face of a crisis, with lots of problems and the need for an urgent turnaround, go with a more Commanding leader. When trying to strengthen connection during stressful times, it’s best to have Affiliative leadership. A Democratic leader helps to build consensus while a Coaching style leader can improve team performance. Pacesetting leadership drives the team to perform and deliver the numbers. These are the most recognizable styles of leadership as outlined by Daniel Goleman, in his book, “Primal leadership.”
A given leadership style should fit the needs of the times, the people and the organization otherwise it just won’t work. But leaders beware. Each style comes with its own set of problems and if applied incorrectly can probably lead to something disastrous. While an affiliative leader is good for group harmony, the individual accomplishments may go unnoticed and un-recognized, leading some to believe that mediocrity is okay. So while it is often said that we should, lead, follow or get out of the way, it seems leadership isn’t so much about math as it is about art.
Actually, from Daniel Goleman’s viewpoint, leadership could be more about maturity. He’s the guy who advanced the concept of Emotional Intelligence. In this respect, the best leaders have a high degree of self-awareness and are also aware of the “emotional reality” of the various members of their team. Topics to be considered include, communication style, interpersonal issues, office culture and the overall “emotional tone” of the team. Good leaders explore and expose unhealthy group habits and work to change them. Barring such deep team understanding, the best solution may be to throw foam darts at each other – real darts are counter-productive. The last not really included in the book but highly recommended by amateurs.
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