Category Archives: Leadership Styles

The Leadership Style Matrix

By the Mind Tools Content Team

When you start to manage new people, how do you know which leadership style you should use?

There are a number of things that determine this. For example, does the work have scope for creativity, or does it need to be completed in a specific way?

Would close management be best, or should you encourage your people to work independently and deliver a finished product?

Different people and different types of projects need different leadership styles. But how do you know which approach is best for each project, person, or situation?

In this article, we’ll look at the Leadership Style Matrix, a model that helps you decide. Continue reading

Leadership Styles

By the Mind Tools Content Team

From Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill, to Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs, there can be as many ways to lead people as there are leaders.

Fortunately, businesspeople and psychologists have developed useful frameworks that describe the main ways that people lead. When you understand these frameworks, you can develop your own approach to leadership, and become a more effective leader as a result.

In this article and video, we’ll highlight some of the common approaches to leadership that you can use. We’ll also look at some specific styles of leadership, and we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Useful Leadership Style Frameworks

So, let’s look at some useful approaches – shown mainly in the order they appeared – that you can use to become a more effective leader. Your own, personal approach is likely to be a blend of these, depending on your own preferences, your people’s needs, and the situation you’re in. Continue reading

Leadership Styles in Financial Companies versus Non Financial Companies

The recent financial turmoil has gone by several different names; the ‘Recession’, the ‘Credit-Crunch’ or the ‘Financial Meltdown’. What is consistent however is the scathing view of the broadcasters and politicians of the business leaders who ran the financial institutions that either collapsed or required government cash injections to remain operational. For example, the financial products division of AIG (American International Group) was led by Joseph Cassano, who made big bets with AIG’s reserves on the worthiness of mortgaged backed securities – which increased short term profits but ultimately led to the destruction of the corporation.
At the heart of the criticism is their lack of governance over risk. This is the polite way of wording the accusation that many leaders were reckless with shareholder funds, and leveraged the financial institutions – gearing up the risk, in order to inflate their own bonuses.
These are damning criticisms indeed. But I wonder out-loud whether these negative characteristics apply only to financial institutions, and not their industrial counterparts. Are industrial leaders really more risk averse and reliable? Or, as I propose – has the media simply ‘assumed’ that industrial leadership is steadier than the financial sector, because of the simple fact that no bad stories were emerging from the sector?
Well, we could look at corporate failures in the past few decades to allow us to conclude on how the two industries stack up. If we take a look at Wikipedia’s ‘List of Business Failures’ page, we can see that there were many financial companies that met the criteria for listing. The list hides many failed companies which were acquired by larger groups and merged into their operations.
What is evident is that countless industrials and other non-financials failed in the last decade, including Borders Group (Book Store), BlockBusters (Video Store) and News of The World (British Newspaper). The volume of non-financial organisations is surprising – with no financial companies featuring in the 2010, 2011 or 2012-to-date listing. The reasons for these failures vary. Some companies operate in dying industries (such as those where products are moving to online product leaders and away from traditional retailers and distributors), however one can be confident that shareholders ridiculed Blockbuster’s leadership team for not foreseeing and responding to this seismic shift in the marketplace, which has occurred gradually from 2004 onwards since the founding of YouTube. We could therefore easily suggest that bad leadership is not the premise of financial institutions alone.
AIGThe recent financial turmoil has gone by several different names; the ‘Recession’, the ‘Credit-Crunch’ or the ‘Financial Meltdown’. What is consistent however is the scathing view of the broadcasters and politicians of the business leaders who ran the financial institutions that either collapsed or required government cash injections to remain operational. For example, the financial products division of AIG (American International Group) was led by Joseph Cassano, who made big bets with AIG’s reserves on the worthiness of mortgaged backed securities – which increased short term profits but ultimately led to the destruction of the corporation.
At the heart of the criticism is their lack of governance over risk. This is the polite way of wording the accusation that many leaders were reckless with shareholder funds, and leveraged the financial institutions – gearing up the risk, in order to inflate their own bonuses.