Leadership – Customized

One of the most interesting question asked in my Leadership Workshops, is “Could you share something on Leadership Styles.”

The question is a good one, if our intention is to study leadership on a theoretical level. It is irrelevant if we want to learn about how to Lead.
Let me explain….
Each of us has a set of skills, capabilities and talents, and each of us is therefore a different type of leader, as compared to someone else. What is essential to understand is that we must identify our strengths and use these to build ourselves, and simultaneously we can improve our leadership. For example, if I am a confident, outgoing personality, I should employ this attribute to reach out and talk to people, and share the vision of my group, or organization. If I am a quiet person who is more analytical, I should use this skill to share my observations with the group, and show people their blind spots, or their hidden strengths.
Using the metaphor of sport, a batsman may have an aggressive, explosive style… and he should use this to demolish and decimate the opposition. Just because he gets out sometimes in a few balls shouldn’t make him change his style, because he then not going to use his strength. A player who takes time to warm up, should start slow and cautious, and build the innings in ones and twos… rather than in boundaries. His strength is to bat longer and keep one end of the batting solid. If he tries to start hitting out from the first ball, he may find himself in deep water.
The job of a leader is to first understand and exploit his best strengths and talents, and not try to copy or clone himself into someone else. Picking up a single attribute from each of the good leaders one knows is a great way forward. When we lead a diverse team, it is therefore essential that we identify each team members strengths, and we bring out the best in them. Do not try to make everyone into a clone of your personality.
The true mark of a leader is to identify the strengths of each member of the team, and assign to them the job that they can do best.
Success for a leader lies in knowing which job to assign to whom.
Happy Leading, and more success to you!
Ian Faria.

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