[July 11, 2018] Nearly every day I come across an article or a book that discusses leadership styles. I’ve even discussed them (here and here) and also had some thoughts on the “evolution” of leadership here. But a recent article by Miles Anthony Smith got me to thinking about them again.1
Smith takes a look at the most common leadership styles, along with a few leadership models, that can help us lead, be led, or encourage others on their leadership journey. His point that leadership is a journey is, I think, his most important contribution to the long-studied effort to understand how leaders lead.
“All leadership should start with understanding how we lead and manage ourselves; this includes our emotions and actions. Without this first step, we will be less effective in influencing others due to lack of clarity on who we are, how we are perceived, and how we are to approach our team.” – Miles Anthony Smith
He emphasizes a line of thinking that I have made part of my leadership blog since its inception. First, to be a truly good leader, you must know yourself as well as what resources you have in terms of other people, time, and money. Second, to be a good leader, you must understand your mission in terms of problems, constraints, and issues.
Smith follows generally my emphasis on the idea that to be an effective leader one must promote trust and confidence in those being led. He notes, for example, that research shows that teams perform better with a leadership style that values people and ethics over profits.
I liked his discussion of situational leadership. He notes that this style requires flexibility that adapts to situations a leader by encounter. Once long ago I was told that I had adopted this leadership style. However, I believe that any leader must adapt their leadership to the situation. Yet, while we have preferences in style, no great leader adheres to one leadership style all the time.
Smith ends his article on “influential celebrity” leadership styles. Actually, he is showing us the leader styles of some very famous and very successful people. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos just to name a few are presented. Many of those he presents have been my leadership blog here at www.theLeaderMaker.com.
I recommend you read his article. Well done, Miles.