Not everyone is born a leader. But you can learn how to lead a team and work with a group of people. Today’s post is about my vision of leadership and how I discovered my leadership style.
Today’s world, compared to our parents and grandparents is characterized by a few major factors, including:
- Rapid advancement in technology
- Accelerated globalization
- Political instability and fighting for scarce resources
- Ethical, racial and income inequality
All these external influences have created new opportunities but also brought unparalleled challenges for corporate leaders. The leaders of today and tomorrow need unique skills and strategic thinking, and apply a leadership style which is morally right and “fit for a greater purpose”.
The Inspiration for my Leadership Style: The Late Steve Jobs
What makes a good leader in my opinion?
In my corporate business development job I was lucky to work with a few great leaders from whom I’ve picked up, precisely what makes their leadership style effective.
A successful leader, in my opinion, always starts with a clear vision. Steve Jobs is one of the leaders I admire, and I believe that I have plenty to learn from his leadership style. From his biographic movie “Steve Jobs” (2015), I’ve learned that Jobs was a visionary leader, always obsessed with excellence, making everything perfect, and not settling for less. Throughout his career at Apple, he has inspired many of his followers to “dream bigger”, aim for perfection and don’t be afraid to “change the world!” (Gallo 2015).
Alike Steve Jobs, I’ve always been an idealist and a BIG dreamer.
I think this is what draws me to his unique model of leadership. I am committed to working extremely hard and I put my full passion into my job, while also aiming to change the world into a better one. This also means, that I expect others to keep up with my work ethic, and can’t accept poor excuses and limitations.
Some will consider this a downside, but the goal is important and I have the absolute determination to reach it.
My Vision of Leadership
Situational and inspirational leadership styles
I consider that there is no single leadership style that fits all circumstances and a good leader needs to adapt their style to a given situation (Mullins 2010). However, if I had to choose a leadership style, I’d use a combination of situational and inspirational leadership styles.
Here’s what a situational leadership style means.
Tip: The diagram below shows the situational leadership behaviour model by McKinsey & Company (McKinsey 2014).
McKinsey Situational Leadership Behaviour Model (McKinsey 2014)
McKinsey (2014) argued that applying different leadership styles will vary according to different levels of organizational health. The Baseline (see chart above) is a generic starting point, where leaders should evaluate the current situation of an organization.
In the second stage, the leader focuses on fact-based decisions, such as effective problem solving and recovery from failures. Organizations which are “moving on up” need leaders who are able to keep teams on task and direct them towards well-defined goals, while companies in the top quartiles are most effectively lead by inspirational leaders who use motivational behaviours.
Although the McKinsey model seems simple to apply, there are many managers who cannot identify correctly the stages of the organization. Therefore, they fail in implementing the situational model.
What Have I Learnt so Far?
Throughout my MBA in Global Business (Coventry, UK) course I have improved my knowledge in various areas of leadership. A handful of these skills can be applied in any future leadership role I will be assigned.
Firstly, I’ve learned that in a work environment it’s important to adopt an ethical approach. Good team ethics come from a leader that focuses on a combination of deontological and consequentialist ethics.
Additionally, I’ve learned about Tuckman’s team formation model which is a great tool, which if used properly can minimize conflicts and discrimination in teams.
Next, to become an effective leader, one needs to account for continuous changes.
Furthermore, communication skills are very important for leaders in order to nurture good relationships with employees, build trust and reduce resistance to change.
Finally, I’ve learned that leadership and management are two different concepts. You can be a good manager and be a lousy leader. Or one can be a great leader and a good manager. The efficiency of any leadership styles varies based on the context.
DISC Personality Test Result
My DISC Personality Test Result shows that my personality is high on dominance (44%) and influence (25%) and low on steadiness (18%) and compliance (13%).
This test indicates that I am well suited for competitive situations and challenging tasks. I find this description accurate, as I have always enjoyed performing difficult tasks and solving problems which require stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’m also someone who loves to exercise critical thinking and creative skills. Another advantage for my personality type is that I have a strong inner motivation to influence people and circumstances.
What Leadership Skills Should I Improve?
To become a better leader, I still have a lot to learn.
Fistly, I should apply different sets of skills and actions in different situations. Although I have been given leadership duties in my career such as managing a diverse team, there are still some areas that I would like to improve.
By applying the Johari Window model and receiving feedback from my MBA classmates in this course, I’ve learnt that my colleagues perceive me as a perfectionist, with a dominant personality but that I need to work on my time management. To develop these skills, I’ve prepared a 6-months personal development plan which aims to track my performance against my skills development goals.
Conclusion – My Vision of Leadership
I consider that leadership can be both born or taught. It cannot be inherited or transferred through generations. But with continuous development, training and persistence, anyone can become a successful leader today. As Thomas Friedman, a New York Times columnist, said “the age or average is over” and thus, being able to lead in the 21st century, you need “creativity, imagination and persistence”.
What are your thoughts?
What makes a great leader today?
Barton, D. (2016) Dominic Barton [online] available from <http://www.mckinsey.com/our-people/dominic-barton> [12 November 2016]
Gallo, C. (2015) How Steve Jobs Inspired People To ‘Dream Bigger’ [online]available from <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251476> [12 November 2016]
McKinsey&Co. (2014) Leadership In Context [online] available from <http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/leadership-in-context> [12 November 2016]
Wharton (2015) Mckinsey’s Dominic Barton On Leadership [online] available from <http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/mckinseys-dominic-barton-on-leadership-and-his-three-tries-to-make-partner/> [12 November 2016].
12 responses to “How I found My Vision of Leadership & Leadership Style”
Well written and I enjoyed reading your blog which you provide great and concise information about the leadership style, Situational Leadership that you choose to adhere. The further explanations allow me to understand more about this leadership style because it is also my preferable style in leading. You have a good vision and I can see a leader inside you, keep dreaming the unexpected and I am sure one day, you will be a successful leader you want to be. Good luck!
Glad to know you see yourself as a situational leader as well. I think the more you interact with people in a team, the more you understand that people’s learning styles differ and one style does not fit all. I appreciate your advice and your feedback very much. Is there anything you think I should improve?
Yes I agree with you ‘leaders are made not born’ and its good to know that you have learned much from this subject. More importantly, I hope what you have learned may also be applied beneficially towards your future undertakings.From reading all blogs, it is safe to say you are ready to LEAD in our changing world. Best of luck !!
Thank you Miki! I’m positive that by enriching my knowledge, I’ve become a better person and even more ready and keen to become a successful leader.
Conclusive and well written blog on your vision of leadership. From your writing, I would say that you have mastered the leadership topic and I am certain that you will apply what you have learnt all this while towards your future undertakings. I am sure you would one day become an ambitious future leader who would induce changes for a better tomorrow. Dream big and best of luck in your future endeavors!
Thank you for your kind comment! I will definitely try to apply what I’ve learned about leadership in my future. On another note, learning is a lifelong process, and we can only get better and more knowledgeable! Thank you again, and I wish the best of luck to you too.
It would very much encourage me to see you rise up as a prominent leader in any given occasion. What makes it better is a lady like yourself leading and striving to change the world! Looking forward to further encounter with your in the real world. As for now, the blog was well written and concise. You have clear goals and achievement plans. All the best!
Thank you for your encouraging words. When the time comes, I hope I’ll be able to stand up to the task and not be afraid to “lead the change”, and also hope not disappoint you. Thank you once again!
Well done,I believe you will be an outstanding leader, lucky for you to work with a few great leaders. To date, over the course of my career, I haven’t met a real “leader”, so I don’t really know what’s the meaning of a great leader even after studying so many leadership theories and management models.
It’s been very fortunate, although most of them were the autocratic type of leaders and very few were democratic. I’ve always considered that you need to learn from those who are successful and surround yourself with bright and inspiring people which will help you grow. I hope you will find such role models. To me a great leader is a leader who can inspire people to their own best and become the best version of themselves.
I could not agree more with your conclusion that leadership is not something which one inherits but rather something which is gained/acquired. I also like how you equated leadership as thought. I am happy to see that your writing is very much refined. Very Well Written. Keep up the Good Work.
Wishing you the very best.
Thank you for your encouraging words. I consider that although some people may naturally be better at leading than others, leadership styles are shaped by people’s learning, life experiences, the work environment they are exposed to and the cultural environment. I am happy that you have seen progress in my learning since I’ve move on from Urbanisma Consulting Group. Thanks!
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