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Updated 15 Oct 2019


What leader will you be in 2017?

Wonder what type of leader you will be this year? In part two of this series of articles, learn about leadership styles and trends for 2017, and debunk some stuffy ideas that need to be bumped off their pedestals. 


Heinrich van der Vyver, 10 March 2017  Share  0 comments  Print


All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

So, we know what leadership is not. To be honest, there are probably as many leadership styles as there are personalities. Add to that the fact that each business has its own culture and approach to doing business.

The list of leadership trends below is by no means finite. It is, however, a useful list of the major types of leadership styles.

1. What style of leadership do you have?

There are a bunch of different leadership styles that clever people in white coats have put forward. Before you glaze over, you might recognise yourself or your boss in a few of these, so read on:

  1. Laissez-Faire - this is a fancy phrase for ‘lazy so-and-so’. Basically, the leader sits back and does nothing, while the team fumbles and achieves little. Let’s not be that person.
  2. Autocratic - the leader decides everything.
  3. Participative - the leader accepts input from peers, but the final decision is his or hers.
  4. Transactional - targets are set by the team, the leader assesses performance and rewards or punishes.
  5. Transformational - the leader enhances team performance through loads of visibility and great communication with the team.
  6. Bureaucratic leadership - the leader focuses on obeying every rule.
  7. Charismatic leadership - the leader inspires enthusiasm in their team by their own enthusiasm.
  8. Task-oriented leadership - the leader’s only focus is on getting the job done.
  9. People-oriented leadership- the leader focuses on organising, supporting and developing the people in their team.

Related: 6 Leadership styles you need to be the ultimate leader 

Embrace a little bit of each

There’s another style of leadership called‘situational leadership’which is a more adaptive and inclusive style to the others mentioned above. In situational leadership, the leader uses whatever style of leadership that best meets the immediate situation.

No-one making up their minds? Autocratic it is. Need to bring the whole team on board and inspire collaboration and motivation? Participative or Transformational steps up.

Recognising your dominant leadership style is the first step in growing your personal leadership style. Knowing about other leadership styles, and using them when necessary, is the next step in your leadership evolution.

Consider bumping up your personal leadership repertoire by reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, or listen to ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’ audiobook by John Maxwell on your way to work.

2. Manage Up

For those of you who do not run a company, or you have a manager above you, you might be thinking, “I wish my boss could read this, so he/she would become a better leader” or, “One day, when I’m running things, I’ll do it this way.”

The reality is, you are a leader right now, where you are. Wherever you are. The primary area of leadership in your working day is to manage up. What do I mean by that? Most managers want the best version of you in the workplace. Sometimes you need to drop a few pennies into the machine before you hit jackpot. Don’t leave it all to your boss.

Related: Unearthing the leadership style that will work best for you

You will need to manage your manager on things like expectations, new ideas, opportunities, solutions and emotional wellness. Here are some tips that might work for you:

  1. Respect first - Show respect to their position and their responsibility in tone and in approach.
  2. Step into your boss’s shoes - You might have something burning in your chest that you need to say. Take a breath and step into his/her shoes for a bit. It will help you pace your talk and they will see you get the bigger picture.
  3. Don't try to be a revolutionary - Your workplace is not your soapbox. Keep your suggestions practical, feasible and measurable.
  4. Come with suggestions, not problems - Your boss probably already knows the problem, and is stressed about 10 other problems. State the problem, and offer your suggestions.
  5. Have your say, obey, walk away - If you think your boss is about to make a bad call, put your suggestion forward. However, no matter what decision he goes with, get on board and do your best. Whining about it only makes you feel miserable, annoys others, and produces sloppy results.
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About the author


Heinrich van der Vyver

Heinrich is the founder of QuickEasy Software’s Business Operating Software (BOS). BOS is a fully integrated operating system that makes information – and control – available to business owners. Integrating everything from quotes, sales, orders, production, purchasing, stock control and accounting, this robust system is deceptively simple to operate. “Our goal was to create business software so easy to use that a single click gives clarity into every aspect of your business. We have done this. Which means you can run your business from the beach, from your home or from anywhere you choose.” Operational clarity is control, and BOS offers that in spades.

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