In my post Why Leadership is Critical to Business Growth I mentioned my recent reading of James Hunter’s book The Servant. He makes some interesting statements in the book as he leads you toward what he believes is leadership. But even more important is do you know your leadership style?
I am interested to hear how you feel about some of Hunter’s positions, as they hint at your leadership. So, this week is all about YOU the reader. To start, Hunter gives the definition of leadership as:
The skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically toward a goal identified as being for the common good.
Would you agree with this definition? Why or why not?
Asking Some Tough Leadership Questions
His point that leadership is a skill is a critical part of this definition. A skill is something that can be learned. If that is in fact the case, then would you agree that leadership can be learned? Again, why or why not?
I don’t want to influence your thoughts here. So, I will reserve my perspective for a later post. However, I am very interested to see what kind of dialog these questions will begin, so please share and let’s get the conversation flowing.
Another point Hunter make in his book is the distinction between power and authority.
defined as the ability to force or coerce someone to do your will.
the skill of getting people to willingly do your will because of your personal influence.
While you can use both power and authority to lead people, which one do you use most effectively in your role as a leadership? Once again, why?
Why Your Leadership Style Matters
The questions I’ve posed here are not easy. But, the answers are critical to truly understanding your leadership style.
I believe this is one of the reasons so many small business owners struggle with leadership. They don’t understand how leadership really affects their business.
How you lead directly impacts your business culture. Your business culture will influence your employees and the kind of employees you hire!
So, if you have difficulty hiring and retaining employees look at your leadership style. Here’s another place to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. Are you doing everything that you should or could be doing for your employees? If not, then you may be the cause of your hiring and retention problem!
Put Your Leadership Style to Work
Good leadership doesn’t come from just reading a book or answering some questions. You’ve got to get out there and practice it!
I got my leadership experience from the US Air Force. While in ROTC we practiced what they were teaching us weekly in our leadership lab class. As students we were given roles and ran the activities in this class throughout the semester. A great way to learn before we had to apply our leadership style in battle.
If you’re afraid to practice it on your business, then get out there and volunteer. There are plenty of organizations out there that are looking for people to help. You just need to step up and ask.
So, what is your leadership style? Is it positively or negatively affecting your culture? What do you need to do to change it? How can volunteering help you make the positive changes to your leadership style for your business to experience greater success?