3 Modes of a Successful Leader

Joe Weinlick
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The secret to good leadership at the office is difficult to definitively describe. When experts use qualitative terms — such as charismatic and brilliant — to determine if business leaders have what it takes to succeed, it is hard to quantify if someone has the right personality for the job. Luckily, you can find out for yourself if you have what it takes to become a leader at work.

Business leaders usually stand out by taking charge in situations when they see a problem and then try to solve it. Other leaders have the authority to make decisions but fail to take the team to the next level. Effective leaders know how to handle a team at any given moment. Good managers also take into account the needs of individuals on the team versus the needs of the whole. Consider three modes of behavior that great leaders must employ to inspire those around them.

1. Command Mode

Managers have the weight of the title placed upon them. That means having the ability to order around a team to accomplish a task. Business leaders can put team members on task, but management must also know how to keep from micromanaging. This is where training employees comes into play. When you need to tweak an employee's behavior, that's when stepping in makes sense. Find the right mix of keeping your team on the right track, but try not to be too heavy-handed as you hand out tasks.

2. Coach Mode

Coaching involves several things as you try to inspire your team to listen to your commands. Business leaders must coach a team through training, skills development and knowledge building. As with any good team, coaching takes time and practice. Determine the abilities and attitudes of individuals so that you recognize how to train each person. Some team members learn visually, while others excel at hands-on training.

Coaching also means delegating tasks to team members. Business leaders cannot do everything at once. To extend a sports metaphor, one person must throw the ball while the other receives the pass. The same person cannot be in two places at once. As such, once you train the team to perform the right way, let each teammate do a job successfully to achieve the right outcomes. Give your team independence to do what you trained them to do.

3. Create Mode

Leaders foster an environment in which teams thrive and grow. Encourage your employees to expand their horizons, improve processes and do things their own way when they find better ways to accomplish tasks. Maintaining the status quo is great, but that can get boring. Teams need to know they can create new ways to do things. Otherwise, the day-to-day minutiae can get boring very quickly.

Success is more than just improving the bottom line. Business leaders also measure success by engaging their teams, balancing busy work with energy and employing different modes of behavior to move the team forward to accomplish the company's goals.


Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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