Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?

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.”

References

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

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8 thoughts on “Why are elements of all leadership styles important to manage change?

  1. Thanks for sharing the link to the quiz. I couldn’t get it to work but maybe its my browser. I’ll have to try it again later. I’m curious what it will say about my style. I feel like I use all 6 styles probably equally. My children would probably say I use the commanding style more. LOL

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    • I felt like it was telling me that I am a drill sergeant, but I think it really helped me think about what I need to be more aware of as a leader. I just need to be more mindful of using different leadership styles.

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  2. Cheri- Wow thanks for that! I took the quiz and had 4 well developed styles and 2 that need some further development. The two that needed further development was coercive which demands immediate obedience which I do no believe in. I think everyone should have a say and work together and the other was pace setter which is about the same do as I do now which I find demanding and I am not like that. That is a interesting survey skillsyouneed.com and good to share with other.

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  3. Love the quiz! Apparently I’m a pacesetter and visionary. I think I already knew this, but now I’m actually looking at it. I hate being a pacesetter and it’s something I’ve been working on for a long time, but it’s hard to let go of it. After all, my mother taught me well. 🙂

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    • I completely agree. I am also a pacesetter and I think there are positive points to being one. I do set high standards for myself. Yes, I am hard on myself, but I also get things done. I work hard and take pride in my work. I also set high standards for my students and adjust or differentiate for my students. I also talk to my students and discuss my expectations. I do not just dictate it to them. I think I am more of a pacesetter for myself and my goals, but more flexible when it comes to others. Things do not just have to be one way or my way. I also got it from my mom and she taught me well too. 🙂

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  4. Thanks for the quiz link, that was interesting, going to post my results in my reflection 🙂

    Also, I think what I learned this week, is that there is great potential for all leadership styles to be learned by anyone who is WILLING. I say embrace the Pacesetter in you and as the quiz suggests, develop the styles that need it. I think it would be interesting to see how your leadership experience and perspective is changed when you try to develop a new style. The most important thing is to develop these other styles so that when it is the “right” time to use them, we are willing to take on the situation. Apparently my least well-developed leadership style is “Coercive”; I would say that I have moved away from this style as I’ve gained more experience over the years but I can see why it would be important to be able to step up when faced with a crisis and this style is needed!

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