THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Kind of Leader Are You?
can get results by avoiding styles and seeking sound solutions.
should leaders get results? Judging by the hundreds of books, C.D.s, videotapes
and seminars that are generated by leadership gurus each year, we aren't closing
in on one answer.
Most agree that effective leadership styles
fall into a number of categories that include:
Coercion or the Jack Welch system of demanding compliance.
The authoritative approach which unites people in a common mission.
The high-performance approach, which sets high standards
Coaching or actively educating people to develop their strengths
The democratic style
"people" approach that empathizes and builds relationships.
The style conundrum
Can you choose one style of leadership over
another? Imagine trying to demand that an employee "pursue an uncompromising path
of excellence" when that employee feels overworked and underappreciated. Conversely,
imagine trying to save someone from an oncoming bus by asking them how they feel.
These examples illustrate that the
approach to leadership depends on the situation, the people in the organization
and the leader.
In recent years, the idea of emotional
intelligence the ability to manage relationships effectively has received
its share of press. Emotional intelligence, or EI, emphasizes the concept that one
leader requires a number of leadership styles to achieve long-term, consistent results.
This is a challenge because most of us are led to a leadership style that conforms
to our personality and is consistent with our experience.
How do you choose?
The ability to choose the correct style requires
that leaders display self awareness and self-management. Leaders earn trust and
present a positive self-image, even in high-pressure situations. They are also aware
of other's needs and abilities as well as the needs of their organization and its
customers (or patients).
The last critical capability is social
skills. Do you know how to influence those on your staff? Can you inspire change
while managing conflict? Can you facilitate teamwork as you develop individual skills?
Can you build relationships and promote cooperation? Have you presented a vision?
By answering these questions, leaders can get a clearer picture of how to operate
more effectively and ultimately benefit the entire organization.
Log on to the online version of "Viewpoint"
at optometric.com for additional information on EI.
Optometric Management, Issue: November 2005