Organisations in WA are currently facing a storm of challenges, primarily as a result of the sluggish economy. Re-structuring, redundancies and uncertainty are main players in the current climate. So how do we weather the storm and continue to prosper?
Our employees need to feel valued and supported, to be given clear direction and provided with transparent communication. So it is their managers and leaders who are best placed to do this and as a result, impact employee engagement levels and subsequent productivity.
If we train our managers and leaders how to be flexible and emotionally intelligence in their leadership style we will reap the rewards of our investment.
In order that managers get the best out of their teams and team members, they need to be flexible; adapting to situations and employee needs on a daily basis. Leadership can and should be situational. Sometimes a team member needs a listening ear. Sometimes the team needs focus. For that reason, the best leaders choose their leadership style like a golfer chooses their club, with a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal and the best tool for the job. Leadership flexibility is key.
Daniel Goleman’s Leadership That Gets Results, studied over 3,000 middle-level managers. Their goal was to uncover specific leadership behaviors and determine their effect on the corporate climate and bottom-line.
The research discovered that:
a manager’s leadership style was responsible for 30% of the company’s bottom-line profitability!
So if we want a bump in effectiveness and profitability, out managers are the key. If they can flex their style according to the situation they will increase team effectiveness by a third. The 6 styles that Goleman identified are as follows:
- The pacesetting leader expects and models excellence and self-direction. The pacesetting style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled, and the leader needs quick results.
- The authoritative leader mobilizes the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals, providing autonomy to each individual for accomplishment. The authoritative style works best when the team needs new direction because circumstances have changed, or when explicit guidance is not required.
- The affiliative leader works to create strong relationships that bring a feeling of bonding and belonging to the organization. The affiliative style works best in times of stress or when the team needs to rebuild trust.
- The coaching leader develops people for the future The coaching style works best when the leader wants to help teammates build lasting personal strengths that make them more successful overall.
- The coercive leader demands immediate compliance. The coercive style is most effective in times of crisis, such as in a company turnaround.
- The democratic leader builds consensus through participation. The democratic style is most effective when the leader needs the team to buy into or have ownership of a decision or plan.
So how do we weather the storm? Invest in our managers, creating leadership flexibility to help them to maximise the effectiveness of their teams so that the organisation can prosper.