The other day I was discussing Daniel Goleman’s Leadership Styles with a former headteacher. He proclaimed ‘Coaching is not a form of leadership', that as leaders we are ‘paid to make decisions’. Where to start?
Personally, in my years as a Middle & Senior Leader I developed a predominantly coaching & democratic style of leadership. I prided myself in supporting, guiding & empowering my team to the extent many of them became leaders themselves.
I also believe Goleman's Leadership Styles is misinterpreted:
'54 percent of leaders use only one leadership style, regardless of the situation, which means that 50 percent of the time, leaders are using the wrong leadership style to meet the needs of their people.' - Ken Blanchard, Author of The One-Minute Manager
To believe that as a leader we are 'paid to make decisions' is arrogance of the highest order. To think leaders are an island not needing any other support is a dangerous message to promote.
A great leader: ✴️Is self-aware knowing their strengths/gaps in skills & knowledge ✴️Is an active listener, willing to listen to different points of view. ✴️Has/learns to develop empathy ✴️Creates a culture whereby their team feel it's safe to question & challenge views ✴️Uses coaching skills to develop team members, promoting a culture of learning and development ✴️Delegates appropriately ✴️Develops relationships & gets buy in from staff ✴️Has humility to admit mistakes & know they don't have all the answers. ✴️Has clear professional boundaries. It's possible to build strong professional relationships with staff without being over-friendly to the point of excluding others. ✴️Can professionally challenge & hold staff to account. ✴️Courts feedback from staff & knows this feedback, however negative & disheartening, is a form of data to enable them to provide the best leadership possible. ✴️Is emotionally intelligent e.g. emotional regulation is developed. ✴️Role-models self care & considers the wellbeing of their staff ✴️Believes in the importance of cognitive diversity. They actively hire people who are not like them, who have strengths that offset their limitations, who they know will challenge their thinking. ✴️Are reflective & strategic rather than impulsive & reactive. ✴️Has integrity. You mean what you say. There is no one 'best' leadership style. Leaders may have a preferred style of leadership but situational leaders adapt their style to each unique situation or task to meet the needs of the team or organisation. Thoughts? If you feel you need development in some of the areas above, coaching can enable you to be the best leader you can be. firstname.lastname@example.org