Becoming leader

Leadership expertises

Leadership expertises

Leadership and Leadership styles

To paraphrase a famous quote from Simone de Beauvoir: “One is not born a leader, one becomes one.

“Quite a program! If you were asked to close your eyes and imagine what a leader looks like, chances are you would imagine a man of a certain age, holding a leadership position and banging his fist on the table.

This old school image has fortunately fallen into disuse, and as one unknown source puts it: “You don’t need a title to be a leader.” he added, nor do you need to be an older man pounding your fist on the table.

In fact, when we look for a definition of leadership, we often come across something like: “the ability of a person to lead his or her teams to achieve their goals”. We are far from the clichés conveyed by the collective imagination!

If we go a little further and look for the difference between management and leadership, we will surely find something like: “the manager is in charge of operational management and the leader of the vision and strategy in the medium and long term”. Two key roles in any organization, whether profit-oriented or not. However, in all these definitions, there is no mention of style.

Add “styles” to your internet search on leadership and you will find thousands of occurrences saying everything and its opposite… Let’s start by digging a little deeper into the concept of leadership.

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Leadership expertises

What is leadership?

For a few years now, leadership has been making the headlines and is a sine qua non condition to manage a team. It is necessary to show leadership, to act as a leader in order to be a “good manager”. And here we are confused because a manager is supposed to take care of the day-to-day when the leader is more connected to strategy and long-term vision.

Fortunately, a new expression has appeared in recent years in business: the manager-leader. It is a jack-of-all-trades who will play both parts.  QED. And what about this concept of leadership?

One could say that to show leadership is to be both a visionary and a guide for one’s team.

A leader inspires the people with whom he or she collaborates by giving them a direction that, without being too specific, allows them to know where they are going, what is expected of them and, above all, what is the meaning behind it all, the added value of the project in which they are involved.

A leader is also and above all a catalyst of potential. He or she accompanies the teams around him or her in their development. This is the crucial point of an authentic leader: to accompany others to develop their knowledge, their know-how and also their interpersonal skills. A leader encourages his or her teams to surpass themselves, to be creative and, above all, to co-create together in order to reach the set objectives. He or she believes in collective intelligence and has learned from his or her mistakes. Mistakes that he or she dares to share without pretense because he or she knows that his or her past failures have taught him or her to think differently and not to give in to discouragement in times of crisis. This explains the concept of leadership in a few lines. What about style?

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Leadership expertises

What about leadership styles?

One could say that there are as many leadership styles as there are leaders. This would be neither entirely true nor entirely false… but it would be a bit short. Each leader has a very particular way of managing his teams, motivating them and even sanctioning them. However, there are different styles of leadership. Let’s review the main ones.

Let’s start with the leader who decides everything from strategy to who does what when and how. This style of leadership can be seen as micro-management. However, in times of crisis and/or major transformations, using this type of leadership is very effective because it allows not only to move forward, but also to achieve the desired results.

Then let’s move on to the empathetic leader: the one who takes the time to explain what he expects from you, who helps you accomplish the tasks you are asked to do and who encourages you to develop both your hardships and your soft skills. This leader is the ideal person to accompany a person in search of development. Beware he or she can quickly annoy an experienced collaborator who needs more autonomy.

There is also the democratic leader. The one who discusses everything with his or her collaborators and does not decide on anything if it has not been thought through by the whole team and validated by all. A very effective leadership style when you have a mature and experienced team because not only can everyone express themselves, but above all can co-create together.

A style that can be disastrous in a team that is not cohesive and where egos dominate because this type of leader in unable to take decisions on his own.

Finally, let’s finish our little tour of the company with the confident leader who knows his or her collaborators at the tip of his or her fingers and knows who to delegate which projects, relying 100% on the person to whom he or she has entrusted the project. This type of leadership is very effective with experienced collaborators looking for more responsibility. It allows them to do their job while having a sparring partner with whom to exchange and explore new avenues.

Let’s close this reflection on leadership and leadership styles by emphasizing the fact that leadership is not reserved for an elite, quite the contrary!

At Become a Leader, we have developed a unique leadership training program that combines 6 days of workshops and up to 20 hours of individual coaching so that each participant can understand what kind of leader he or she wants to become and experience it in the field.

Program participants have the opportunity to test different leadership styles by taking into account not only the situation, but also the type of person he or she is facing.

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