What Do Effective Leaders Do?
“What do effective leaders do to remain effective?” was a question that I proposed to my Leadership Application Program Speakers Round Table Class. In response I received a number of answers from personality traits to emotional intelligence. Leadership is a word that can be defined in many different ways. In the article “Leadership That Gets Results” they take the time and breakdown the six different steps of leadership, the six styles are coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching. The late David McClelland, a noted Harvard University psychologist, found that leaders with strengths in a critical mass of six or more emotional intelligence competencies were far more effective than peers who lacked such strengths.
The Coercive Style. The most ineffective leadership style is the Coercive style. In the article it describes the Coercive style to be very extreme and very direct. It talks about the CEO of a company who came in and made necessary changes but came with a negative personality. The CEO would blame the bearer of bad news for the bad news, and had such a negative connotation that instead of his workers wanting to give bright ideas they would hold them back in fear of rejection. The coercive style should be used only with extreme caution and in the few situations when it is absolutely imperative, such as during a turnaround or when a hostile takeover is looming. In those cases, the coercive style can break failed business habits and shock people into new ways of working. It is always appropriate during a genuine emergency, like in the aftermath of an earthquake or a fire. And it can work with problem employees with whom all else has failed. But if a leader relies solely on this style or continues to use it once the emergency passes, the long-term impact of his insensitivity to the morale and feelings of those he leads will be ruinous.