Effective Leadership: Style Really Does Matter

As an executive coach, I have found that style really does matter. Leadership style, that is.

Many people go through life with an attitude that says, “This is the way I am – take it or leave it.” As a leader, you don’t have that option. When confronted with diverse situations in the work environment, you will often need to respond with very different leadership styles. Some will be comfortable and natural to you, and some will make you stretch.

Take the situation one of my clients found himself in:

My client was CEO of a mid-size corporation. His natural flair was to work with his staff in a very collaborative fashion. In fact, he believed that it was important not only to collaborate with his staff, but to have consensus from them on all major decisions. In most cases, this worked well. But the day came when the company needed to implement a new operational structure. A massive change was essential. The CEO attempted to collaborate and get a consensus from all the members on his leadership team … but three months later, they were still arguing about what to do and how to do it. Friction and hostility had crept into the previously united team. The CEO was at his wit’s end. He called me in.

The problem? His leadership team was not ready to assume the responsibilities he was placing on them. They didn’t have the experience and skills that were necessary to collaborate effectively and implement a solid plan of action. 

The solution? The CEO had to change his leadership style from collaborative to decisive. He himself had to define what the new operational structure of the business was going to look like, and drive the change forward. Within one month of his asserting this higher level of control, the new structure was in place and functioning smoothly, and the transition had been completely seamless to the company’s customers.

Will he always have to stay in this decisive role? By no means. As his leadership team continues to grow and develop, the collaborative approach that is natural to him will become more and more appropriate and effective. But he has learned a valuable lesson – and one that he will benefit from again and again: Great leadership isn’t a matter of finding a “perfect style” and sticking to it through thick and thin. It’s about knowing the perfect style for the situation you’re currently in and using it well.

© 2008 Timothy I. Thomas

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. This article is not to be sold or included with anything that is sold.

Timothy Thomas

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4 Responses to Effective Leadership: Style Really Does Matter

  1. Anthony E.M. says:

    KING (I Own Alpha Wolf) – Why Do You Continue Going About?w/ things you know nothing about. Saying, that Wade is/will always be better than Iverson when that is not the case at all?

    Your arguments are:

    1.) AI had a "supporting cast" when he went to the NBA Finals and still could not get it done. When everyone knows AI alone carried that wishy washy team all throughout the playoffs and into the Finals and it was Wade himself who had the "supporting cast" not AI.

    2.) Wade has a Gold Medal and an NBA Finals MVP, and ring and AI doesn’t. Well, that’s because AI played on the same team in the Olympics with Stephon Marbury – a megalomaniac who has had troubles getting along w/ Iverson since they were drafted together. NBA Finals = AI played on a bruised rib and fractured fingers and still dropped 40+ on Kobe/Lue and the Lakers were superior to the Sixers that’s why they lost they play defense – unlike the Mavs. AI still outscored Wade in the Finals and Shaq Finals MVP emotionally said even though Lakers won the real MVP is the season MVP Allen Iverson.

    To elaborate on my facts….

    Does, this look like AI has a supporting cast.

    PG. ERIC SNOW – Are you kidding me Eric Snow?

    SG. ALLEN IVERSON – 31.1 PPG, 2.5 SPG, 4.6 APG (Has had 7 APG) . In the Finals 35.6 PPG.

    SF. GEORGE LYNCH – Was practically done
    PF. TYRONE HILL – Who?

    C. DIKEMBE MUTOMBO – You say he was an All-star this year and All-Defensive team. And that is help for AI. Well Dikembe spent half the year on the lowly Hawks and was not playing, like the old Mutombo he was aging. Then he was traded for Toni Kukoc = old, Nazr Mohammed = sucked, and Theo Ratliff = injured. And because AI had the team on top of the Atlantic even though Deke was declining he got praise for how good the Sixers looked. In the Finals Shaq exposed his fragility and tore him a new a$$hole.11.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.5 BPG (in season). In Finals,

    6. Aaron McKie – Who said before that Aaron McKie one who never defended and was named 6th Man of the year was enough help for AI. Well, he was named 6th Man of the Year because of the way AI carried the Sixers to the top of the East and all the open looks AI created when he drives. Aaron McKie had a stat line his 6th Man Award year of 11.7 PPG and 4.1 RPG. That is really unimpressive and bench players that year, like Ron Artest scored 11.9 PPG, Brain Grant scored 15.2 PPG, and their were many more deserving players than McKie.

    7. Raja Bell – Not the same and good player he is now
    8. Kevin Ollie
    9. Jumaine Jones –
    10. Kevin Ollie
    11. Todd McCulloch
    12. Rodney Buford

    *This team sucked!!!

    The Heat on the other hand:

    PG. JASON WILLIAMS – Great passer who can score a bit and toned down his game in Memphis, so he can play an effective championship style.

    SG. DWYANE WADE – 27.2 PPG, 6.7 APG, 1.2 SPG. In the Finals 34.7 PPG.

    SF. UDONIS HASLEM – A good player/ a hustler

    PF. ANTOINE WALKER – Multiple time All-star, 20+ PPG player in Boston who had his moments for Miami.

    C. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL – 20/9 that year and although he was not the same Shaq as before or now for that matter back then and struggled in the playoffs. He still averaged a double-double in the Finals and was a presence down low. Making it easier for Wade to dominate.

    6. James Posey – An excellent defender & true 6th Man is no McKie

    7. Gary Payton – HOF player that hit that big shot to force a game 4 down 2-1 and not 3-0.

    8. Alonzo Mourning – HOF player, greatest Heat of all-time helped Miami with hustle and shot blocking tenacity.

    9. Shandon Anderson – Good defender
    10. Michael Doleac
    11. Jason Kapono – Sharpshooter off bench
    12. Derek Anderson – Vet leadership and good scorer

    * Miami had help.

    Get it, got it, good! AI is and will forever be better than Wade. Even today AI is better. If he were not in Detroit and a transition team he would be the same AI he always was better than Wade. Look at him closely still as fast and gifted as ever. Just needs a team that can transition itself and can compete for a title.
    AI has a MVP does Wade?

  2. Brother J (LeBron's fan) says:

    Good excuse Anthony, I 100% agree with you!References :

  3. KING (I Own Alpha Wolf) says:

    LMFAO @ your excuses…

    Dude you’re WHACK! Kapono didn’t even play in the Finals. He averaged 0 PPG….LolReferences :

  4. Kobe-Future HOF says:

    I agree

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