Leadership is the crux of every business—big or small. The way a business is run defines its core values for all of its constituents. This includes everyone from the highest-ranking executives to the customers and competition. I’ve seen time and time again how, without the right style of leadership, a company’s vision blurs, and its marketing tactics fall flat. More often than not, working out the kinks of a business’ marketing plan is simply a matter of reassessing the business’ leadership style.
Take a moment to reflect upon your own business’ leadership style. Are employees granted leeway in the workplace, or do managers really crack the whip? Discovering your business’ leadership style can reveal quite a bit about your company, particularly areas that could use improvement.
An article on Chron.com sorts leadership styles into five categories: laissez-faire, autocratic, participative, transactional, and transformational. Throughout my years as a marketing consultant, I have thoroughly observed all of these styles in action, with mixed results. Below, I have provided brief explanations of how these leadership styles typically function.
The truth is that none of these leadership styles is necessarily better than the rest. There are pros and cons to every method of running a business. As a result, there exists no one-size-fits-all style of leadership. Take into account your business’ mission statement that requires a specialized leadership style to address. More importantly, take into account the value of the talent you’ve hired. How much do you trust your employees to work independently? Is employee input important to your business ethos? However, I will say that in my experience, the leadership styles that tend towards the middle of the two extremes of Laissez-faire and Autocratic tend to produce the right balance and best results.
That’s not to say that I haven’t encountered businesses that thrived under laissez-faire leadership. The managers and employees of these businesses performed their jobs well without intensive supervision because they are highly qualified and highly motivated self-starters. However, I have also come across companies that only functioned effectively because of their implementation of the sort of reward systems characteristic of transactional leadership.
Generally, business leaders improve their company by applying aspects of different leadership styles in combination; managers need not commit wholeheartedly to one leadership style and abandon the rest. It’s all about finding the right fit for your business’ individualized needs.
Finding the best leadership style for your specific business, then, is often a matter of delving into what makes your business unique. What is your unique value proposition? Which values are present in your mission statement? And what kind of an experience do you want your employees to have? Have you hired thinkers, or doers?
You can improve your business’ leadership once you’ve learned about the different styles of business leadership at your disposal. A leadership overhaul,then, could be just the thing your business needs to acquire those long sought-after results.
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OnDemandCMO has authored 7 Steps of Marketing, the only marketing guide book you’ll need to either get your marketing started properly, or stay on track strategically.
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