Leadership has evolved over the decades and savvy, future-focused leaders empower others to do great work. The shift from command-and-control management, to leading with empathy, humility, and vulnerability is essential to attract and retain top talent. If this leadership style is new to you – it can be learned.
Let’s take a closer look at leadership personas to help you identify obstructive behavior and qualities that enable others to do their best work.
These leaders are often great solo contributors but lack the ability to set a vision and engage their teams to take ownership and soar. They are in leadership denial and forge ahead doing their own work and ignoring the individuals they are supposed to lead and develop.
Be wary of these absentee leader traits:
- Lacks curiosity – doesn’t want to know.
- Doesn’t listen – says nothing.
- Backs away from any details.
- Lacks clarity about what is going on.
- Sets no goals.
- Is ignorant of the questions and the answers and lacks critical context.
These leaders are tethered to direct reports and often diminish new ideas because they lack active listening skills. They speak more than they listen and need to be the smartest and loudest person in the room.
Be wary of these micromanaging leader traits:
- Hands-on, ears off, mouth on (all the time).
- Pretends to know it all.
- Tells you how to do things (their way).
- Makes additional work with overly frequent reports and updates. Doesn’t trust the team/individuals.
- Tells people how to solve problems without fully understanding the complexities and nuances involved.
- Sets arbitrary goals.
These leaders hone the sweet spot of high-quality communication and listening skills. They unleash their teams to do great work and get out of their way and offer support when requested.
Celebrate these partnership leader traits:
- Displays curiosity; recognizes when they need to know more.
- Understand true active listening (no phones, computers, or other distractions!) and gives you their undivided attention.
- Asks about relevant details.
- Is well informed because they are hands-on.
- Leads collaborative goal setting.
- Anticipates problems and brainstorms solutions.
- Removes obstacles and defuses explosive situations.
- Shares what they know, asks questions when they don’t.
- Supplies relevant context for transparency.
As an executive coach, continuously honing my leadership craft is essential, so I can help my clients become the best versions of themselves and thrive as leaders to empower the individuals and the organizations they serve.
Transpersonal leaders operate beyond their ego, continuing personal development and learning. I had Danielle Grant, MA, PCC Director of Transpersonal Leadership Development at LeaderShape Global on my Your Working Life podcast and I encourage you to listen to the show. Danielle talks about how transpersonal leaders are radical, ethical, and authentic while emotionally intelligent and caring.
- Embed authentic, ethical, and emotionally intelligent behaviors into the DNA of the organization.
- Build strong, empathetic, and collaborative relationships within the organization and with all the stakeholders.
- Create a performance enhancing culture that is ethical, caring, and sustainable and retains top talent.
Design Your Leadership
Your leadership will define you and impact the work of others in your organization from your direct reports to the clients you serve and the stakeholders at-large. It’s time to look at your leadership strengths and blind spots and commit to a growth mindset and continuous improvement. Leadership is a journey, and you are in control of how you lead. You need not walk this path alone – a leadership coach can help you become the best version of yourself.