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Different leadership types - with Tom Munson

There are numerous types of leadership. A leader's distinctive behaviours when directing, inspiring, guiding, and managing groups of people are referred to as their leadership styles. Thomas Munson, who has over 20 years of experience in engineering and managerial positions, has explored the different types of management styles. He explores them in a humbling way which helps us recognise we are human, yet we have the capacity to choose how we show up and impact the people around us.

The challenges of a manager

When stepping into a manager position, you may face challenges, for example, if you are younger than most of the people in the team that you are leading, it may be a challenge to convey a sense of confidence. And sometimes, when you are in that managing position, it may not be as straightforward as you hoped it would be. When faced with challenges, there are multiple ways to approach these situations.

  • Do not approach everyone with the same style; get to know each of your team because in order to have trust, you first need to build it with each individual.

  • Facilitate one-to-one conversations to discover what your team’s motivation is.

  • Be vulnerable with your team.

How do you create a cohesive team?

Thomas finds that a team of “young blood” and people with experience makes a good combination. The “young blood” brings in new perspectives, ideas and ways of doing things, while the people with experience have stronger leadership skills.

In the hiring process, you need to ask the right questions to select the right candidates. Do not create a team where everyone has the same mind-set, because you ideally want a flexible team. Having a good mixture of backgrounds and diversity will result in a cohesive team, as long as the manager/leader shows that they are flexible enough to lead or accommodate such a team and to let them know that there is room for them there. A leader should recognise the value each of their team members brings to the team. When leaders recognise their team's values and skills, they will engage more with their team. Your people will then feel like they are needed and trusted in that role.

Difference between a coach, manager, and leader

Manager: oversees the execution of tasks, making sure the team gets the job done.

Leader: encourages, influences, and guides their team. A leader makes their team feel that they are needed and worthy.

Coach: nurtures, guides, and supports their team. A coach gives their team the space to come up with their solutions.

Management styles

  1. Great man leadership theory - you are born a leader, and already have leadership qualities.

  2. Autocratic leadership – when you have the ultimate authority and make most, or all, of the decisions - your team members have little to no input.

  3. Transformational leadership – a leader who usually inspires positive change and inspires their team to strive beyond what is expected of them; does not micromanage the team.

  4. Bureaucratic leadership - the team executes their tasks based on their hierarchy; the leader and their team follow a chain of command. In this management style, there is no flexibility or autonomy.

  5. Laissez-faire leadership – leaders who rely on their employees and do not micromanage them – the employees get to make the decisions. This leadership style can be interpreted as someone who does not care about their team.

  6. Servant leadership – when a leader’s main goal is to serve their team and make sure they are in a healthy and safe environment where they can do their work to the best of their abilities. Thomas explains that just serving is not enough – you need to be able to make decisions for your team and lead them.

The approach you take to lead your team should depend on their development need. You can either be highly directive, and supportive or be a coach, depending on the person and the task that the person must carry out. The best approach? It depends on the situation and scenario you are facing. If you don’t understand your people, then you won’t make effective decisions. When you are trying to persuade your team to do the task that is required of them, you should not instil that these are the repercussions if they do not execute their tasks. You should approach them by explaining the strategic importance of doing these tasks is, and how it will affect the business.

In Conclusion

Thomas stresses that it is important to first get to know your team individually before you approach them with these leadership styles. Discover your team’s motivation, background, and goals. Knowing your team better will be effective when delegating tasks because you can align your requirements with their requirements. Leadership is about guiding a fully functional team, leading each other, learning from each other, and encouraging autonomy

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