Advertising
Advertising

5 Leadership Styles that Help You Build a High Performance Team

5 Leadership Styles that Help You Build a High Performance Team

It takes great leadership style to build great teams. The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon. Whether you want to build a high performance team in the workplace, local community or competitive sports, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the people in your team and what gets them going. Beyond that, you need to understand the different styles of leadership that there is to build effective teams.

Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and Winston Churchill represent some of the different leadership styles that are worth their weight in gold. While it may seem like there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders, psychologists and business experts have identified the main types of leadership styles that are most effective. Here are five of the top leadership styles you can use to build an awesome team, depending on the situation that you’re in.

1. Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on transforming individuals. This style is about taking people through a journey of initiatives that lead to positive changes in the way they do things. You identify a needed change that adds new value, create a vision to guide individuals to meet the change and inspire and motivate them to carry out the change and be the best they can be as themselves, as well as a team.

Advertising

This leadership style is one of the best to use in business situations. It encourages engagement from everyone in a team and leads to high productivity. The downside of the style is that the aspect of transformational change sometimes results in work being done, but not quite reliably. When work is not done reliably, other leadership styles should be incorporated to address the shortcoming and ensure routine work is done reliably.

2. Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership, also known as participative leadership, is a style of leadership that is very open and collegial in the way it builds and manages a group of people. Members of the group take a more proactive and participative role in the decision making process, but the final decision is made by the democratic leader. Everyone is given a seat at the table and ideas are shared and discussed freely among team members. Creativity is encouraged and valued, as is engagement in projects.

The benefits of this leadership style is that team members feel more in control of their destiny and, therefore, tend to be more motivated to work hard. Team members also enjoy greater levels of job satisfaction because they are involved in decision-making processes throughout. The style is usually a good fit when you want to build skilled teams, especially in the service industry where new ideas allow for more flexibility to ever changing customer demands.

Advertising

The downside of democratic leadership is that participation takes time. It can slow decision-making and be a hindrance in situations where speed or efficiency is essential.

3. Servant Leadership

Servant leadership, a term coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a style where a leader’s primary role is to serve a group of people, such as employees. The leader leads by example with generosity. He or she has high integrity and is focused on meeting the needs of the team. Unlike most other leaders, the “servant leader” prefers to stay out of the limelight and lets the team take all the credit for their hard work.

Servant leadership helps create a positive corporate culture and can lead to high moral among team members. It is often the best approach to leadership in situations where leaders are elected to serve a committee, organization or community, such as in politics. The downside to servant leadership is that it demands high levels of integrity and takes time to apply correctly. You can easily find yourself falling behind other leaders who use other leadership styles.

Advertising

4. People-Oriented Leadership

People-oriented leadership is a style that takes into account people’s strengths and talents. Leaders using this style place people in positions that take advantage of their talents and positive characteristics. The leader is focused on organizing, supporting and developing individual team members, as well as improving the welfare of the whole team. People-oriented leaders treat members of their team equally, are friendly and approachable and readily available to anyone who needs help or advice.

This participatory leadership style builds popular, fun teams that everyone wants to be part of. Team members are often more productive and willing to take risks because they know the leader will provide support if they need it. The downside to this style of leadership is that it can be too focused on individuals that important tasks or project directives are overlooked and suffer.

5. Task-Oriented Leadership

Task-oriented leadership is the opposite of people oriented leadership. Task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done. They define the work that needs to be done, plan and organize how the work will be done, create and assign roles to do the work, put structures in place to manage performance and monitor the progress and standard of work.

Advertising

The benefit of this leadership approach is that it builds a team that delivers results within set deadline. The style is especially useful for team members who are unable to manage their time well, either due to personal or work distractions or their own limited capacity to work without direct supervision. The downside to the approach is that leaders tend to be autocratic and not concerned about their team’s well-being. The team can suffer problems like low motivation and employee retention.

So, which leadership style or combination of styles work best for you?

More by this author

10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer Great Leaders Remember to Offer These 10 Things All The Time 10 Things a Real Man Does When He’s in a Relationship 15 Funny English Idioms You May Not Know 10 of the Most Effective Ice Breakers for Starting Meaningful Conversations

Trending in Work

15 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work 211 Things You Can Do To Increase Employee Productivity 319 Ways to Use Creative Thinking in the Workplace to Up Your Credibility 4How to Ace an Interview: 17 Things That Hiring Managers Look For 5How to Set Ambitious and Achievable Career Goals (With Examples)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

5 Powerful Ideas on How to Be Productive at Work

Not being able to stay productive at work is a problem that everyone runs into at some point; no matter how much you like your job, there are certain factors that prevent you from staying at maximum proficiency throughout the whole day.

A lack of productive focus at work can lead to extra stress on yourself, missed deadlines, passed opportunities, raise denial, demotion and even termination.

So, if you are someone who has trouble with your productivity, here are five effective tips on how to be productive at work:

1. Take breaks

First and foremost, it’s important for you to take regular breaks. Trying to work throughout the whole day will tire your brain, which will then cause you to doze off and think about something else.

If you keep working your brain, it will fill up and get jumbled with information—sort of like a computer hard drive. Taking a break would be like resetting your computer so that it can start afresh, or de-fragmenting the data so that all the information is in order.

This is a great thing because it allows you to solve problems you were unable to solve previously, by seeing it differently; if you are able to organize your thoughts properly, you will be able to take in new information more easily.

There have even been studies about methods of saving time and staying proficient, and taking breaks is one of the leading factors.

According to Christine Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, eating lunch away from your work area every day will greatly increase your productivity. Eating in your work area will give you the illusion that you are working, but whether you like it or not, your brain will begin to wander and think of something else and then you will be working tirelessly with no progress.

It’s important to take breaks before and during work too: if you come to work in a rush because you woke up late, your mind will not be mentally prepared for the day ahead, and you will spend the first 10 to 15 minutes trying to get organized and composed before you can actually start working.

Advertising

Instead, you should try to wake up 20 minutes earlier than the time it would take you to “just get” to work. Take that time to stare off into space and not worry about anything.

If you do this, your brain will be empty and ready for all the challenges it has coming for the next few hours.

If your employer only allows a set amount of breaks during the workday, that doesn’t mean you can’t just get up and walk around for a quick break every now and then.

Even if it’s only 5 minutes, it will refresh your brain and you will gain renewed energy to do your job.

Learn more about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

2. Pace yourself and balance your workload

One problem that most people run into is that they underestimate the amount of work they have to do, and end up doing 50% of the work in the last 20% of the time they have to do it. This is due to an issue of balancing one’s workload.

When you receive a project, or are doing a job you normally do, take some time to really plan out your work schedule.

Consider how much time it took you to do this last time; determine how you can break the project into smaller parts and which can only be accomplished on certain days, and whether anything might come up that could interfere with your plan.

All of these questions are important for starting on a project, and when answered, they will help you stay productive throughout each day.

Advertising

For example, if you needed to design a project to map out the amount of aid offered in various regions after Hurricane Sandy, you can break it up as follows:

You will need to know what organizations are offering help to begin with, how much aid those organizations gave or plan to give, which regions were hit by Sandy, and which regions suffered the greatest losses.

You start this project on a Thursday and know you have until Tuesday to gather this information.

In order to stay productive, you need to plan out your work week—now you know you can find out which organizations are involved in helping the Hurricane Sandy Victims any day since that information is online, but gathering information on the organizations may require you to call them.

Since phone calls can only be done during week days, you have to plan on gathering all of that information before the weekend comes.

That is just one example of a situation in which pre-planning your project will help you stay productive; had you researched the affected regions first, you would not have received the info on the organizations until the weekend, and may have missed your chance to call them.

That, in turn, would have wasted time you could have spent working on this project to finish it.

Knowing what you need to do, when you can do it, and how long it will take you, is important in balancing your workload and being more productive and efficient.

3. Put your work first

This is an issue that usually occurs with young people who are new to the workforce: they’re often tempted with offers to go out at midday, and then come back lost in thought and unfocused on their work-related tasks.

Advertising

While it is important to take breaks, your breaks should consist of you clearing your mind, not loading it up with other less important information—like sports.

However, that is not the only situation where you need to worry about putting your work first before all else.

In a work environment, the senior employees will oftentimes push some of their menial tasks onto the newer employees. If you fall into that category, you need to know that their work is not your work, so if you have tasks that need to be done, you need to do it first.

If you are a new employee, you must learn to say no to other people even when it means you may not be in their good graces anymore. You can help others out once your work is done, but you are paid to do your own work, not anyone else’s.

4. Don’t open your browser unless you need them

In this day and age, everyone is constantly monitoring their social network. This is a major pain point for companies, which is why many don’t allow employees to access their social networks on company workstations.

When you are at work, disconnect the internet from your phone and keep your browsers closed so you’re not tempted to log onto your social media accounts or browse any sites that are not work-related.

If you keep your browsers closed and phone tucked away, only to be used in an emergency, you will find yourself being a more productive employee right away. 

5. Try to be happy and optimistic

If you always have a negative outlook on life, you will be more distracted and less motivated to get work done, so it’s important for you to start your day off right.

This can be done by having a good breakfast or by taking time in the morning to watch one of your favorite TV shows before work.

Advertising

If you are happy, you will find yourself able to work much more productively as your mind won’t wander into worrying about something else.

Also, if you stay optimistic and keep telling yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to, the tasks will seem much less daunting and will go by much more quickly.

Take a look at more effective ways to stay positive at work:

15 Ways To Stay Positive At Work

Happiness and optimism are the keys to being a productive and happy employee.

All in all, heed the five tips above and you will find yourself being one of the most productive people at your company.

While you do not need to master them all, each and every one of them will help you become a better and more efficient employee.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Read Next