Tag Archives: leadership style

Be a Leader

How do you show up in your business – and what difference does it make?

Everyone has a decision to make when they walk into the office (or join the team zoom call) in the morning.  

You have to decide, without getting too existential, who you are going to be today. How are you going to show up? 

Most people are pretty self-aware when it comes to what they wear to work, for example, but when it comes to how they’re going to lead their team, it seems to be more challenging. 

Yet neglecting your leadership style is like turning up to work in a Hawaiian shirt and flipflops if you are meant to be in a suit! 

At best its distracting, at worst its unprofessional and that will, ultimately, be damaging to your business. 

So, if we want to make sure that we can create a business environment that grows our team’s confidence and capability to create amazing things then we need to be aware of and design the impact we have on others. 

Let’s look at just 7 types of impact types that us leaders can have: 

1. Mood Hoover 

This is the person that sucks all the energy out of the room as soon as they walk in. I’m sure that, unfortunately, you’ve all encountered someone like this. Just their very presence is draining.  

There is nothing more disheartening than when going to work feels like a slog. Believe it or not, I’m of the belief that work should actually be fun! 

 And showing up and draining everyone of any enthusiasm they may otherwise have is a sure-fire way to demotivate a team. 

We may say to ourselves – “oh that’s not me” but have you ever asked?   

2. Micro Manager 

This is probably one of the most common and widely known of the typical types of leaders. They are the person that will try to pick at and control every little part of the business. They will be the type to over supervise and critique everything their team does.  

If you tend to fall into this trap, just pop yourself in their shoes for a moment and think how it would feel.  Work shouldn’t have to feel like Big Brother, with eyes on your every move, and when this happens it reduces confidence, makes us feel like we will just wait for the next instruction instead of sticking our head above the parapet.  

So micro-managing is a short-term win but a long term lose.  

3. Do-It-Yourselfer 

Could this one be anymore self-explanatory?  

Well, just in case it isn’t, this is the type of leader who “just can’t” delegate, so they may believe. 

The type of leader who will take everything on themselves and leave their team twiddling their thumbs with very little to do. 

This is stressful for all involved; the leader takes way too much on, and the team feel like they aren’t trusted or valued in their job. 

But often they are fooling themselves and we need to switch a few beliefs around to help us to let go and believe that it will be better for us in the long term.  

4. Stressed Out Stickler 

This is the type who has no trust in their team. The one who goes strictly by the rules and not the relationships they have within their business.  

This approach is forceful and may appear authoritative but ultimately, it will have very little influence on anyone involved. 

If you are making your team feel constantly on edge about stepping even slightly out of line, they’re not going to be doing their best work, or enjoying their time there. 

Remember, most people come to work to do a good job so if we can find the strengths in our people and begin to trust them to step up, then we can step back and focus on the bigger picture.  

5. Dynamic Driver 

This could almost be described as an amped up version of the Stickler. This type of leader will have you quaking in your boots is they are heading up your team. 

They can even be overbearing and pushy to the extreme. 

They may have a big influence on their team, but this will be more out of fear than anything else.  

They will be driving (as the name suggests) the team forward but it won’t be a fun experience for any of those involved.  

The problem with this is that it creates a parent-child relationship rather than adult-adult and then we are quite likely to hear our team say “If you are going to treat me like a child, I will behave like one”. 

So, as soon as the boss goes away, we all breathe a sigh of relief and in can lead to the team pushing back and getting actively unhelpful when they aren’t being pushed along.  

We have to remember that human beings (adult ones) need to be treated as such and we need to buy-in to the cause, not just be pushed over the edge of the cliff.  

6. Undercover Slogger 

As you may expect given the name, this is when no one knows that you’re the leader.  

And without wishing to state the obvious here, if no one knows who the leader is then they’re very unlikely to have any real influence.  

It doesn’t matter how much knowledge and ability a leader has if they are unable to impart that or direct others in a productive way.  

Maybe this leader is so worried about offending or upsetting someone that they just feel they can’t ask someone to do a task or challenge that bad behaviour.  

But this leads to a confused and often conflicted state because there is no one leading the pack.   

And this means that it is very hard to get things done, make changes or get people taking responsibility.  

As a leader we will still be slogging away, mopping up messes, doing too much and feeling bad about it.  

7. Quiet Catalyst 

In many ways the ideal or aspirational goal of leadership, being able to inspire others without having to shout. A low force approach with a high influence. 

If someone can get their point across without ranting or raving, then teams are immediately more likely to open up to what they are asking of them. 

Being a catalyst for your team means you can inspire them, give them the confidence to step up and try stuff, make decisions, test things out and put themselves forward.   

You give them confidence to not have to keep knocking on your door asking “What’s next boss” and therefore they grow and learn, you get to focus on the next big thing and they feel fab because they are developing in your business whilst creating amazing results.

What Comes Next? 

Once you can identify these different types, you have the chance to see where you naturally find yourself. 

And say you don’t like where you end up, guess what? 

None of these are final! 

You are free to make the changes you feel fit to get the best out of yourself and your team. 

Just as you pick what you wear to work every morning, it is completely up to you what attitude you choose to show up with. 

But if you feel you need some help in making the changes you need as a leader, give me a shout and we can find the one thing that you can focus on to grow your impact and influence in you business.  

Email julie@thinkbedoleadership.com and let’s we can see what we can achieve! 

An office party

Why we should play more in business

Sadly, unless you are very lucky, everyone is going to have to work for a living.

Now, work is often viewed as a necessary evil, something to endure rather than enjoy (it’s even evident in my opening line!), but this doesn’t always have to be the case.

Your business doesn’t always have to be all work and no play, in fact if it is you may be missing a trick. If work is more fun, more will actually get done!

The Human Touch

Leadership is about people, and that goes both ways.

Not only do you have to view your team as real human beings (because they are), they also have to see you as one!

No one wants to be the big scary boss who people are too scared to talk to.

It’s about allowing yourself to be exactly that, yourself, rather than the person you think you should be. And if you’re anything like me, the real you wants to have a laugh and enjoy going to work every day.

And guess what, it’s the same for everyone else too!

I remember when I was a police officer, I had a boss who was not into laughter. She wanted us to “get on with it!” and not to be seen chatting or singing or messing around, so to speak. 

But that was where I am the team thrived – releasing pressure, creating fun and therefore enjoying our job, that was often difficult and depressing.

So, as a leader, if you allow your team to see that human side of you, whilst expressing their own, your workplace if going to be a much nicer place to be.

When people feel like they can let loose a little and be themselves, this opens up the door for more playfulness and, in turn, creativity and productivity.

And of course, that means a better business.

I mean who doesn’t want that?

The Proof

But you don’t just have to take my word for it, there have been studies too!

Studies like the one published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour that found a link between informal learning and fun.

This means that a good atmosphere will create a better learning environment meaning people will pick up skills better, thus improving job performance

So, if work is personable and fun, you are opening the door for your team to get more creative in trying new things and worrying less about mistakes (something that can hold them, and the business back!).

The Myth

Sadly, there seems to be this horrible idea surrounding work, that having fun and being able to play around with work and business is somehow a distraction.

I think it’s time that narrative shifted to the 21st century, in which this has been proven not only untrue but, in fact, the complete reverse of the reality!

Fun breeds optimism (no surprises there), but it also helps improve resilience and attention, not to mention bring people together!

The more collaborative an environment is the faster people are likely to learn too.

It’s really like one big domino effect. Create a playful environment in work and you knock down issues like stress, lack of productivity, lack of creativity and poor engagement.

Come As You Are

You know that whole American thing of ‘Bring Your Child to Work’ days, well I’m not suggesting that by any means, but maybe we could tweak it a little.

How about, ‘Bring Yourself to Work’?

And why limit it to just one day?

Bring yourself (your real self) to work every day!

It’s far less hassle than bringing a child or, for that matter, bringing in that act of whatever you feel a “leader” should act like!

Remember, you are a leader, whether you like it or not so the way a leader acts is as simple as how you choose to act.

And by bringing yourself you are also bringing along opportunity.

The opportunity to:

  • Form better relationships – meaning better growth and more success.
  • Build a strong social network – meaning better team performance and more fulfilled employees.
  • Bring in personality, both when you speak, but also into how you listen to and engage with your team

But How?

If that hasn’t been the case in a business for some time, it can feel a bit odd to suddenly bring fun and laughter, or your human side into the business.

People might find it strange if they are being asked to be more themselves, or feel uncomfortable, as might you.

But persevere and you will create a new norm.

You will start to find that behaviour breeds behaviour, and that people will feel more comfortable if they feel it is safe to be themselves.

If you think this makes sense to you but are not sure how to bring that back into your team (without having to resort to team building days and jumping off logs etc) then give me a call.

If you fancy having a little fun with your team, get in touch at julie@thinkbedoleadership.com and we can have a play and see what we can do! Or check in with what I have been up to recently here.

Arguing man and woman

Stuck in the Middle With You

Are you the bottleneck in your own business? 

I was talking to a client earlier this week.  He was talking about how he needed training for his team, as he felt they were unmotivated and didn’t try very hard and weren’t doing what they should be doing.

But here’s the thing.  Behaviour breeds behaviour.  So if your team is not performing the first thing we need to look at as leaders, is ourselves.  Often we are so busy, we only stop to notice when things don’t get done and then we look at the people and ask ourselves why they aren’t doing what they should. Often this is because roles have evolved over time, and communication is not happening (because you are so busy). 

Let’s face it – most people come to work to do a good job.  In most cases they are willing.  So, it is YOU that have to change.  You need to change from a ‘doer’ to a leader.

Do Your People Breathe a Sigh of Relief When You Walk In or When You Walk Out?

You may not even know that you are demotivating people. You need to become a detective and look at the reasons WHY things are happening. 

Sometimes it is because you think it is quicker to do something yourself (which is true on the first occasion, but on the following 50 times – it saves huge amounts of time if you can offload the task to someone else by training them).

As your business grows you will need to identify people in your business who can become your future leaders.  And what you need to do is develop THEM as well as yourself?  And then THEY will also become bottlenecks in your business.

How To Avoid The Bottlenecks

Growing your business means you need to have team performance.  If they are not doing – then it is either because they can’t do it because they don’t know how, they won’t do it because they don’t want to or they don’t think they have to do it a certain way.

So – how did you set things up to change this.  We need confident people – do they CAN do it.  We need people to trust us – then you get excited and want to do it.  You need people who are committed to the cause – do the people in your business know what the vision is? 

This is all the stuff we go into on the Leaders Launch Pad. 

You need to give people Clarity and Autonomy.  Even if you have people who are capable of doing things – if they are not clear about what good looks like and what decisions they are allowed to make, then they won’t do stuff.

How do you create Clarity and Autonomy.  The short version is coaching and clear guidelines.  Easier said than done, I am sure you would agree? 

If you want to find out HOW to increase the clarity and autonomy in your business – message me on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com or link with me on LinkedIn and message me there – https://www.linkedin.com/in/leadership-expert-executive-coach-training/

Elon_Musk_

Quiet Leadership?

“Quiet” might not be the word you would associate with a successful leader. The business world has a tonne of stories about big brash leaders – LOUD leaders – from Elon Musk to Donald Trump, running companies with an iron fist.  These leaders get results through fear in most cases.  Or at the least through having such strict structures in place that people don’t have to use their own initiative at all.  They also have (at least in the above cases) a sizeable ruthless streak.

It can be intimidating to a new leader who might be naturally more introverted – to look at these examples.  They can feel like they are ‘not leadership material’.  But the truth is that in today’s workplaces, people are much less likely to respond to being ‘told what to do’. 

There is a new and powerful leadership style emerging.  It is what I call – quiet leadership. 

What is Quiet Leadership?

Let’s clear up one misunderstanding about quiet leadership.  It doesn’t mean they are necessarily timid, just that they are more likely to take action than talk about it. 

They are quietly confident rather than having a high ego or arrogance.  They would rather solve problems through logical thought and encouraging ideas from their teams, rather than imposition or micro-management. 

Quiet leaders are open and approachable and tend to generate a lot of loyalty in their teams, as they have earned respect, not fear.

“My way or the highway” is the opposite of what quiet leaders do.  They will often take longer to make decisions than more ;authoritarian’ styles, as they ant to get all the information first in order to make a better decision.

Leading by Example

This is a characteristic of quiet leaders.  They won’t ask anyone to do something that they are not prepared to do, and they will stick to the ‘rule’ – company policies and procedures, so that they can lead by example.

These leaders have a natural empathy which cannot be manufactured.  They are genuine and they care.  People sense this from them – but the difference between an effective and an ineffective quiet leader is probably the leading by example. 

This builds the trust that leads to highly effective teams.

Examples of Quiet Leadership

Bill Gates is a good example.  He has this quiet style but its totally confident in himself – in fact he is purported to enjoy it when employees challenge him – even the most junior employee

Jacinda Arden – New Zealand’s premier – is an example of this leadership style.  She has had a very effective first term – passing more laws in New Zealand than the last 4 governments, mostly due to her ability to listen and bring people together.  She is visibly empathetic which makes her popular with the general public.  It would be difficult to imagine her losing the upcoming election (though anything is possible in politics!).

Of course – there is no single style of leadership that always works, and leader have to be able to flex, given circumstances and what the people they are managing need.  If there is a fire in the office, you won’t find a proper leader asking peoples opinions, they will be leading the way out of the building. 

However, the quiet leadership model is one that fits our times far better than autocratic leadership.  You don’t have to worry as a manager if your style is ore ‘quiet’ than loud.  In fact, it is often the case that you will be more emotionally intelligent than your louder compatriots!  Your team may perceive they are self-led, because of how your style impacts them.  As long as you always lead by example, stand up for them when it is right to do so, and are authentic, you will be seen as a great leader and not a ‘weak’ one.

There is a fine line between people thinking you listen to their feedback because you can be manipulated, and understanding that you listen to them because it makes perfect sense to do so. 

Feel free to reach out to Julie to discuss further on julie@thinkbedoleadership.com or connect with her on LinkedIn here