Leadership is about the needs of the people that we lead.
A leadership style is to be adapted to the particular demands of the situation, the particular requirements of the people involved and the particular challenges facing the organization.
What is YOUR leadership style?
Tech CEO or World leader?
Creative or rigid?
People first or goals first?
Mark Murphy, author and expert on organizational leadership, as a result of years of research, comes up with four fundamental leadership styles:
- Pragmatists have high standards; they expect themselves, and their people to meet those standards
- Driven, competitive, bold thinkers, unafraid
- Accounts for 8-12% of leaders
- Working for pragmatists:
- Not for the faint-of-heart but the opportunities to learn and become expert under tremendous
- Offers the potential for exceptional intellectual growth, but also for burnout and criticism.
- Examples – Jeff Bezos – CEO, Amazon & Marissa Mayer – CEO, Yahoo!
- Idealists are high-energy achievers who believe in the positive potential of everyone around them
- They want to learn and grow, and they want everyone else on the team to do the same.
- Charismatic, drawing others to them with their intuition and idealism & open-minded
- Working for Idealists:
- Offers the chance to be creative and to express oneself.
- Provides a very democratic experience.
- Accounts for about 15-20% of leaders.
- Examples – Tony Hsieh – CEO, Zappos & Meg Whitman – CEO, HP
- Stewards are the rocks of organizations, dependable, loyal and helpful
- Provide a stabilizing and calming force for their people
- They value rules, process and cooperation.
- Working for Stewards:
- Offers the chance to be part of a well-oiled machine.
- One finds security, consistency and cohesion and provides great opportunities for team success.
- This style accounts for about 15-20% of leaders
- Examples – Mother Teresa & Ginni Rometty – CEO, IBM
- Diplomats prize interpersonal harmony – social glue and affiliative force that keeps groups together.
- They are kind, social, and giving, and typically build deep personal bonds with their people.
- Able to resolve conflicts peacefully and for avoiding conflicts in the first place!
- Working for Diplomats:
- is often more fun and social than working for other leaders
- They focus on putting their people in positions that leverage their strengths in order to achieve success.
- Account for around 50-60% of leaders.
- Examples – Gandhi, Sheryl Sandberg – COO, Facebook
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ style. Some leadership styles work better with different groups of people and in different situations.
If you would like to see which style you resonate with, please take this free leadership styles assessment.