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.
The Authoritative Style. The most effective leadership style is the Authoritative style. In this article it seems that Authoritative is the exact opposite of Coercive Style just as powerful but with a positive connotation. The authoritative style, powerful though it may be, will not work in every situation. The approach fails, for instance, when a leader is working with a team of experts or peers who are more experienced than he is; they may see the leader as pompous or out-of-touch. Another limitation: if a manager trying to be authoritative becomes overbearing, he can undermine the egalitarian spirit of an effective team. Yet even with such caveats, leaders would be wise to grab for the authoritative "club" more often than not. It may not guarantee a hole in one, but it certainly helps with the long drive.
The Affiliative Style. “If the coercive leader demands, "Do what I say," and the authoritative urges, "Come with me," the affiliative leader says, "People come first." This leadership style revolves around people-its proponent’s value individuals and their emotions more than tasks and goals. The affiliative leader strives to keep employees happy and to create harmony among them. He manages by building strong emotional bonds and then reaping the benefits of such an approach, namely fierce loyalty. The style also has a markedly positive effect on communication. People who like one another a lot talk a lot. They share ideas; they share inspiration. And the style drives up flexibility; friends trust one another, allowing habitual innovation and risk taking. Flexibility also rises because the affiliative leader, like a parent who adjusts household rules for a maturing adolescent, doesn't impose unnecessary strictures on how employees get their work done. They give people the freedom to do their job in the way they think is most effective.”
The Democratic Style. As a Democratic leader you let the people have a say in what you do. In the example provided by the article, Sister Mary was...