Am I The Right Kind Of Leader?

Author and speaker John Maxwell says it best, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Most people agree small businesses need a strong leader at the helm if they are to succeed in today’s turbulent economic waters. But they may not agree on what kind of leader is best. Is it one who takes charge, nurtures, or inspires? The answer is “yes.” It’s one who can adjust their approach to match the waves of change. 

Find out what tack your leadership style takes and learn about other directions you can chart to round out your leadership sea legs.

Take The Leadership Quiz

What’s your leadership style? It’s influenced by internal factors like your personality type. For example, outgoing types often lean towards being people-oriented leaders. But it can also be shaped by external factors like the type of business you run. 

Learn which leadership style you naturally lean towards by taking this 12-question quiz from MindTools. Each question presents you with a leadership challenge and gives you three solutions to consider. When you’re finished, click “calculate my total” to identify your dominant leadership approach. You’ll get a summary of your style along with tips to address shortcomings.

Your Leadership Toolkit

This quiz is based on an early leadership theory that has been refined over the years. The key takeaway is this: While we tend to gravitate toward one style, leaders have to be able to flex to different approaches based on the demands of the situation. They need to broaden their  leadership toolkit.

For example, here’s a sample of some leadership styles and when to flex to that approach:

  • By the book – This approach believes leaders need to establish rules and processes. Tell them what you want, when you want it and how you want it done. Flex to this style when you’re managing a crisis and on-the-spot decisions are needed. You’re not likely to encourage any innovation, but it can help you get through a crunch.
  • What do you think? – Leaders using this approach set the stage and have the final say but they seek input from others first. Flex to this style when you want to increase employee engagement. You’re also likely to get ideas you hadn’t even considered. This will take more time so you’ll want to use this for non-urgent situations. 
  • Have at it – Leaders using this approach empower people to work on their own with little guidance from you. Flex to this style when leading highly skilled and motivated people. Some find it useful when working with consultants or contract employees too. It’s important to delegate the right task to the right person. Establish checkpoints to get updates. You can always flex back temporarily to a more directive style, if you need to get things back on track.

Leadership Resources

One of the most encouraging aspects of leadership is that new skills can be learned. That’s important because new business challenges often require new approaches. 

Podcasts can be an effective way to hone your leadership skills. Here’s a sampling of some:

The Introvert Entrepreneur – You don’t have to be the life of the party to be a top business leader. This podcast offers proof by interviewing leaders and offering advice and inspiration. 

Entreleadership – This focuses on small business and leadership with a variety of topics including leadership in a COVID-19 environment. 

Growth Think Tank – Formerly titled, “Leaders In The Trenches,” this podcast concentrates on leadership growth by interviewing leaders in companies, best-selling authors and experts.  

Now more than ever, leadership is critical to business success. Start with this leadership quiz, then broaden your toolkit by listening to these leadership podcasts.