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Leadership: Nature vs Nurture
December 01, 2017

Leadership: Nature vs Nurture

Leadership, in simple language, is the style used in organizing, leading and executing the organizations’ goals and aims. Leadership style is the manner in which you use your leadership skills to execute daily tasks.

The popular quotation on greatness can very well apply to Leadership as well. Some are born leaders. Some develop leadership and some have leadership thrust upon them.

Whether leaders are born or made, they exhibit their traits in a variety of situations with different people, through different styles of leadership. In most situations, Leaders are made. They are groomed for greatness. However, they need to display signs of possession of the leadership skill-sets. Every leader will definitely display a style, which varies from one leader to another.

In two steps, let us understand how to assess your own Leadership style.

1.) Understand your nature…

A particular leadership style can be dominant in an individual, while other styles may surface based on different situations. You can fall under one of the following three leadership styles -

  • Authoritative: These leaders know exactly what they want .They don’t leave much room for change and typically are effective in small teams or organizations.
  • Democratic: They encourage employees and stakeholders to be participative in the decision-making process. Since many experienced stakeholders participate, they are expected to know more and be aware of the processes and vision.
  • Delegative: Leaders of this type have minimum interference in employee decision-making and exhibit maximum trust.

Every category and style can be classified as a sub-section of the above three types, as:

  • Autocratic: Takes decisions, communicates to subordinates and expects implementation.
  • Strategic: Looks to create a high-performance environment all round.
  • Transformational: Motivates and empowers others to do more.
  • Team Leader: Works with a strong sense of direction and guidance.
  • Cross cultural: Adjusted to cross-border and global cultural variations.
  • Facilitative: Process/ Suggestion and Intervention driven.
  • Coaching: Motivates, inspires and encourages.
  • Transactional: Exchanges process for tangible rewards.
  • Visionary: Envisions goals and transforms them into realities.

2.) Then Nurture the Leader in you!

Informal abilities - like problem solving, integrity, teamwork and passion for development - are qualities that will need coaching, since your future staff will follow you for these intrinsic values in future. This type of coaching is difficult and can be done only through professional programs, which coach and guide you continuously.

This leads to two key questions:

Can you harness the informal skill sets through professional management programs.?

Yes. Executive Management Programs and Corporate Training programs are regularly available, both on-site and online from reputed universities. They focus on the informal qualities of the candidate through experience, feedback, coaching, etc. With employee training becoming a higher priority, standard training calendars are being published by organizations to help employees undertake such programs. Unlike traditional reactive measures, firms are now allocating budgets with proactive action plans.

How will these programs improve your leadership qualities?

  • In professional programs, leadership development is intertwined in many courses via practical sessions, live coaching by guides and industry experts.
  • Global leadership skills are engendered through live projects.
  • With group exercises, leadership and teamwork are developed side-by-side.

Leadership can be developed only if one is driven and self-motivated. As a leader, you will be tested often, when you are leading several people through important decisions. Adaptability in styles is the key to long-lasting leadership.

Siddharth Gupta

Senior Associate

British Telecom

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