My leadership styles- an evaluation
I completed a leadership questionnaire and it gave me a few insights.
It turns out that I have no well-developed styles and all need some further development. That doesn’t surprise me actually as I certainly don’t feel I am always ‘nailing it’ and I am not always getting the outcomes I need from my team.
Notwithstanding areas where I can continue to reflect, I think that what this speaks strongly to is that these sorts of evaluations do need to be context-specific.
My results indicated I have some styles that tend towards coercive leadership. At the time I answered the questions I was feeling critical of the lack of leadership shown by some of my peers. I feel that there is too much consultation which leads to wishy-washy solutions designed simply to make our staff happy rather than what is best for our learner and the maintenance of our overall kaupapa. So absolutely, lack of leadership from higher up has led to a lack of cohesion and too many cooks stirring the pot! So I definitely want somebody to put their foot down so that we can decide, act and commit to decisions. But I don’t ever coerce- I just want to sometimes!!
I do see a need for more balance. My ‘servant leadership’ approach has been to develop the team by encouraging them to take charge of a number of projects that I feel are of benefit to the direction we are moving in. However, it occurs to me that my style of suggesting things people might do could be stifling people from bringing their own ideas to the table because they think they need to pick up mine and run with them?
On the other hand, the survey may also be rightly interpreting that I need to be more firm sometimes. I struggle in situations sometimes in my senior leadership as I am the only female and ‘the guys’ can be hard work. I never try to be one of the guys, I call them out when they stray into sexism; overall we have a pretty easy-going relationship congenial and collegial relationship and I am seen as their equal. I’ve had to keep an eye out to ensure that I don’t pick up more projects than I am responsible for. I’m doing this because there is just SO MUCH TO DO and in some of it I am simply better and quicker at and my hard graft ultimately helps to make my team’s lives easier and advances our kaupapa.
I think it will be valuable to keep reading these insights and do this survey every few months; it’s not prescriptive and I’m not thrown by facing how much more there is I have to learn and be and do in my leadership journey.