It is widely agreed that any successful organization needs an inspirational leader for people to follow. But what kind of a leader is the most effective in their job?
Four types of leader behaviours
Science splits leader behavior in four categories: task-oriented, relational-oriented, change-oriented and passive leadership. Each of these types of leader behaviours have different goals and ways of working.
Task-oriented leaders focus on task achievement. They organize, define relationships, set goals and get tasks completed. Task-oriented leaders are efficient and realistic, technically perfect hard workers who possess excellent people skills and are committed to tasks and goals.
Relational-oriented leaders focus on employee-orientation. They show concern and respect their followers, looking out for their wellbeing while showing appreciation and support. Relation-oriented leaders are friendly, trusted and trusting, reliable, understanding, generous, supportive, and flexible.
Change-oriented leaders focus on change and innovation. They are smart and creative visionaries who accept new ideas, make quick decisions, and encourage cooperation. Their orientation is on the team, goal and success. Change-oriented leaders are energized, committed, and empowering survivors who focus on achievement.
Passive leaders focus on keeping things the way they are. They only take actions when mistakes are being made and brought to the leader’s attention. Passive leaders avoid conflicts until mistakes can no longer be ignored.
Leading different personalities
Instead of just focusing on one’s own skills as a leader, it is important to remember the other people who play a crucial role in the leadership: the people you lead.
To be able to lead people properly, a leader needs to understand who they are leading. A good leader must understand that people have different traits and they need different things to be able to succeed. Sometimes these traits may feel like wrong behavior, even something the person should train themselves out of. Often these situations occur simply because of clashes of personalities.
The most effective type of a leader mixes the types of behaviour
While it would make a leader’s life easier to underline one single leadership behaviour that leads into instant success, it is crucial to understand that there is not one universal leadership behavior that is associated with success in all situations. To be successful in different situations a leader must be able to display different leadership behavior.
The most effective leaders adopt different leadership styles according to the situation and the development level and personalities of their team members. This is the most effective way of leadership as it adapts to the team’s needs and sets a beneficial balance for the whole organization.