The elements of all leadership styles are important to manage change because the negative characteristics of each element can be offset by the positive of other elements. Fullan (2001) wrote, “Leaders who have mastered four or more – especially the authoritative, democratic, affiliative, and coaching styles – have the best climate and business performance.” I wondered what kind of leader I was because I could see parts of myself in each of the descriptions. I found a website that measures your leadership style based on a quiz. The website is called SkillsYouNeed.com (n.d.). It breaks down your leadership styles into three groups: well developed styles, styles that need some further development, and styles that need a lot of further development. I found that I have one well-developed style, pacesetter, and five styles that need some further development. I was a little disheartened because I know that the pacesetter leadership style is hard for others to keep up with and that is not what I want for the students in my classroom or my teaching colleagues. However, I do have all the other leadership styles that just need some further development, which means that I can balance things out with a little work and focus. I think being aware of your leadership styles is very important for teachers.
I also researched a little about pacesetter leadership styles and found that “Pacesetter leaders would rather do the job themselves. They set high standards, and they lead by example. They are loners. They expect self-direction of themselves and others” (Integrated Publishing, n.d.). Parts of what is written here is true for me. I do set high standards, especially for myself. I expect a lot from myself and I work hard to achieve my goals. It is exhausting sometimes and I do get burned out. But, I also have really good self-awareness, so most of the time I can see it coming and try to take steps to stop the burn out. The parts I don’t really see in myself is feeling the need to do the job myself or being a loner. I enjoy having people help me and happily give up items that I could do myself for others to do. I don’t feel like I am the only person who can do a job. I also enjoy being and working with others. I like people, so I don’t believe I am a loner.
I feel that a great way to sum up what makes an ideal leader is best described by Benincasa (2012) when she wrote, “If you take two cups of authoritative leadership, one cup of democratic, coaching, and affiliative leadership, and a dash of pacesetting and coercive leadership “to taste,” and you lead based on need in a way that elevates and inspires your team, you’ve got an excellent recipe for long-term leadership success with every team in your life.”
Benincasa, R. (2012, June). 6 Leadership Styles and When You Should Use Them. Retrieved October 29, 2015, from Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/1838481/6-leadership-styles-and-when-you-should-use-them
Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Integrated Publishing. (n.d.). Leadership Styles. Retrieved October 30, 2015, from Integrated Publishing: http://navyadvancement.tpub.com/14144/css/14144_70.htm
Skills You Need. (n.d.). What Sort of Leader are You? Retrieved October 29, 2015, from Skills You Need: http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ls/index.php/325444