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The 6 Leadership Styles That All Successful Leaders Use

The 6 Leadership Styles That All Successful Leaders Use

Great leaders inspire us to do great things, to believe that we can do anything, and to become the greatest versions of who we can be. This is why, as a leader of your business or company, you will know instinctively if you’re leading your team into a brave new tomorrow, or if they’re lagging behind, dragging their feet.

How they feel about your leadership style could make or break your company. Being knowledgeable about your weaknesses, and more importantly, your natural strengths can be a total game-changer. Here are six ways to manage a team and when to use them.

The Hare

This style is all about moving as fast as you can to get things done on time, which is of course ideal for times where you’re working towards a tight deadline.

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If used all the time, the stress of only caring about deadlines can mean employees lose interest in the tasks altogether. If this is the case, try switching up your style to focusing on the people doing the tasks. Find out more about what might work better for them in the long-run, and how they work best.

The Dreamer

If you are a dreamer, you can see exactly where you’d like your company to go and you love to share this vision with your team. This approach can help join you together as a team and improve morale.

If you are going to use this style, make sure that your vision is clear and that everyone believes in it. Working towards some unattainable goal is a surefire way to lose the crowd and end up talking to yourself.

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The Director

You are a director if you tell it like it is and if you ask for tasks to be done directly, without hesitation or consideration for your employees. This no-nonsense approach can work extremely well in a crisis. By keeping a cool head and knowing what needs to be done in the moment, you can create success out of a messy situation.

Where it doesn’t work is if you find yourself constantly barking orders at your employees without ever using another management style. It’s a delicate balance, but use this only sparingly and when the situation really calls for immediate and direct action. If overused, you can end up with employees who are low in moral and self-esteem, and others who are heading for the door.

The Greek

The Greeks invented democracy and this is what this leadership style is all about. You want to know everyone’s opinion and how things can be improved for the best overall outcome. Having your say can be very empowering for most people, especially if it’s something you are working on everyday.

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If this is your main way of managing, be careful that you are not asking the wrong advice from the wrong people. This can be a big waste of everyone’s time, so make sure you have a well-developed team of experts that you know you can depend on as your business grows.

The Lover

The person who is the lover cares about relationships and how these bonds create enough synergy for a fruitful working environment. This style can be a huge booster for morale as everyone learns to understand and work with each other. When your team has experienced a setback or are changing group dynamics, this style can help to gel everyone together and keep things moving smoothly.

On the other hand, using this style all the time can lead to low performance and drive. This is because relationships are the main focus, and the goals can get left behind. In this case, try using some of the other management styles, especially the hare or the dreamer management styles.

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The Coach

Working as a coach means that you’ll not only understand what is going on with people, but that you will also try to find new ways of growing their (and your) skills and abilities. This is a great idea, especially for a new start-up where it’s essential that your business keeps growing and evolving. So, being open to growing together, as individuals and as a company, will be highly beneficial.

This approach could backfire if an employee is not in the mood for any kind of growth. Instead of coaching, you’d need to try out a different management style, like the director – at least until they feel more like meeting you on the same level.

So, there we have it, six ways of managing your team. Whichever style you choose, the most important thing is that the team you are leading feels happy and inspired to do the work for you. Because without the support and expertise of an effective team, your company would not be able to get off the ground. As billionaire Jack Ma says, “When your team is happy, the customer is happy.”

Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

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Daniel Owen van Dommelen

Coder, Director, Writer, Human

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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