Different types of businesses produce different styles of leadership. With each role having its own responsibilities, team leaders and management often develop their own particular approaches to leading their workforces. Some prefer a direct approach, whereas others like to collate feedback and make a decision on the opinions of others.
The question of leadership is such an important one that cottage industries have even developed around the topic, with endless tests and quizzes designed to help you nail your colours to the mast. However, when you boil all the jargon right down, there are two main types of leader within any industry: the Influenced and the Influencer. Read on to find out which category you fall into.
Influencers are relatively easy to spot, particularly because of their natural ability to get what they want, but without having to resort to direct orders or take a dictatorial stance. These people are usually optimistic and positive and are great communicators. Nine times out of ten, these are natural abilities rather than learned tactics. Influencers are instinctively empathic and understand what it is that makes people tick. As a result, they are able to communicate what they want in such a way that it seems that their employees are part of an ensemble effort, rather than being told what to do.
Influencers are always happy to help others and delight in being motivators. In addition, their positive nature means that they are always open to new suggestions, particularly when it comes to finding ways to increase their team’s productivity. A 21st Century Influencer will already have a handle on the latest software from companies such as Intuit, and are able to see the potential to improve their team’s efficiency using such tools.
However, on the flip side, Influencers are prone to letting their relationships interfere in making good business decisions. While their strengths may lie in getting to grips with people, they sometimes lack the ability to distance themselves and take an impartial view of a situation.
By comparison, Influenced leaders tend to favour a democratic style, rather than getting his or her own requirements across. Often, these leaders are perceived as soft touches, because they don’t appear to be that dynamic and often take considerably longer to make decisions. However, they do have a positive effect on staff morale, as the employees feel that they have had a say in how the business operates. Despite this, they can often run into the proverbial problem of having too many cooks and not enough broth.
Influenced leaders will take slightly longer to implement changes, such as incorporating new software like Intuit technology, because they will spend an inordinate amount of time absorbing the contributions of others as well as customer feedback. In addition, the apparent sharing of the burden of leadership means that employees who need supervision may be unaware of this, convinced that their opinions are worth more than they actually are.
You’ve seen the evidence: which kind of leader are you and which do you want to become?