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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s we can see what we can achieve!