There are a variety of leadership models today, each having some shared characteristics but also having their own individual slant. For simplicity, let’s focus on three predominant styles and consider how they could apply to certain situations.
Transactional: This style is based on the assumption that people are largely motivated by money and simple reward and so their behaviors in any situation are deemed to be predictable. Transactional leaders are likely to create clear structures based on rewards and punishments and operate through a clear chain of command.
Transformational: This type of leader assumes people will follow a person who inspires them. They believe a person with a vision and passion can accomplish great things; the way they get things done is to inject enthusiasm and energy. A transactional leader is likely to develop a vision for the future that will excite their followers. They are always visible and through their actions act as role models.
Quiet: Don’t underestimate the quiet leader. They believe action speaks louder than words and that people are motivated by being given credit rather than taking credit themselves. In other words, ego and aggression are neither constructive nor necessary. Quiet leaders are known to combine professional intent with personal humility, putting others before their own personal needs.
In today’s frenetic business environment, successful leaders must be able to be chameleon-like to be successful. Tomorrow we will explore the advantages and disadvantages to each style.
Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Your Project Office, www.yourprojectoffice.com