No-nonsense guide to effective leadership skills, Part 5

By JOHNNY CARCIOPPOLO / Community Columnist

What’s your leadership style? Do you even know? How does it compare to other leaders’ style?

Do you lead like Gandhi or Steve Jobs? Or are you rigid or creative? Do you put people or goals first? There are many ways to find your leadership style. One way is to take an assessment. You’ll need to ask yourself a few questions when you’re finding your own leadership style. Here’s a sample of questions to ask yourself to get you started:

  • I like to have power and control.
  • I listen to others, but I want to have the final say.
  • I am not an expert in every area of my business.
  • I don’t care what others think. I am going to do what is best for me.
  • I like the decision-making to be shared.
  • I prefer my followers to be in control.
  • I micromanage.
  • I am not afraid to recognize achievement in others.
  • I believe group members need to create their own goals.
  • I have trouble trusting my employees.
  • I like to encourage my team members to collaborate.
  • I encourage group members to solve problems.
  • I think employees should do only what they’re told.
  • I want my business to run through teams.
  • I am not good at following up with team members.
  • I want the final decision on how to fix problems.
  • I enjoy helping my employees grow and learn.
  • I give very little input because my employees know their jobs better than I do.
  • I don’t want to make time for employee input.
  • I prefer to hear the opinions of my employees.
  • I like being in charge.
  • Mistakes are not acceptable.
  • When things go wrong, I am willing to ask for advice from team members.

There are different styles of leaders. Depending on what your answers are to certain questions will determine the type of leader you are. Authoritarian leaders know exactly what they want done. They know who they want to do it and when it needs to be completed. They don’t allow for much variance. Democratic leaders are the encouragers. They encourage team members to take part in decision making. Delegative leaders or laissez faire leaders trust their employees and have confidence that team members are educated and experienced enough to get the job done without much interference from the leader.

As you consider each statement and ask yourself the questions, you’ll begin to see a pattern of how you lead. Once you know your style, you can work on changing what needs to be changed.