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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 June 3, 2020

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals

refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

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What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

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Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

Specific

First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

  • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
  • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
  • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
  • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
  • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

Measurable

The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

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Attainable

The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

Relevant

For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

Time-Bound

The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

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Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

The Bottom Line

Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

Reference

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