14 décembre 2009

Leadership’s styles in the sense of Daniel Goleman (1/2)

Many of you asked me to write articles in English as well. This makes sense and allows an international dialogue, taking into account different feelings and experiences. Indeed I received a lot of emails on geraldkarsenti@live.fr following my messages on leadership. This is a subject that obviously generates a lot of reactions. This is part of our lives, no matter if you are yourself in a position of leading a business or people, at least everyone wants to know how leadership works … is it possible to understand the mechanisms of it … anyway I am not so sure. Leadership could be an art, could be a process, a whole set of rules but in any case it could be considered as a science. Some of us would say: fortunately. Leadership calls to a lot of disciplines: economy, management, human resource, human capital theory, psychology, sociology, etc. This makes this area a very interesting investigation play. Daniel Goleman is certainly one of the most prolific authors on this subject, producing a lot of papers and books, each bringing new concepts and value.

In “Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence” (2002), together with co-authors Richard E. Boyatzis and Annie McKee, he defined 6 leadership styles. Since then, they have been copied basically by everyone. They became the reference on this crucial subject.
What are the 6 leadership’s styles?
 Affiliative: Creating harmony. Promotes harmony, nice, empathetic, boosts moral, solves conflicts ;
 Authoritative : Providing long term directions and vision; Inspires, believes in own vision, empathetic, explains how and why people’s efforts contribute to the « dream »;
 Democratic : Building commitment & generating new ideas; Superb listener, team worker, collaborator, influencer;
 Coaching : Developing others; Listens, helps people identifying their own strenghs and weaknesses, counselor, encourages, delegates;
 Coercive : Immediate compliance; Commanding « do it because I say so », threatening, tigh control, monitoring studiously, creating dissonance, contaminates everyone’s mood, drives away talent;
 Pacesetting: Accomplishing tasks to a high level of excellence. Strong drive to achieve, high own standards, initiative, low on empathy & collaboration, impatient, micromanaging, numbers-driven.

Key remarks should be made:
1. Leaders gain the best results by using a combination of these leadership styles;
2. Each leadership style is appropriate for some specific business situations ;
3. The more styles you have, the more situations you can manage.
Each of these styles may have a real impact on business, on motivation and can generate a spirit for winning, but the best is certainly to adapt the style of leadership with the goal pursued. Depending on your target (piloting an overall transformation, launching new businesses, managing a restructuration with or no social plan, etc.) you may decide to appoint a specific profile. It is first a question of efficiency. Let's see next time how these styles can affect the different KPIs ("Key Performance Indicators") of the firm.