Developing your leadership style

Developing your leadership style involves understanding yourself, what works, and what does not. While this does not mean having no role models to emulate, you should not blindly mimic other people’s styles.
Discover your style. Every leader has his own unique style in leading, some using tough love, some with constant motivation and euphoric vibes, and so on. The first step in developing your leadership style is to discover and understand how you actually lead people. How do you instruct your staff? How do you reward them? How do you act on a problem? These questions will not only give you a hint of what kind of leader you are, but will also tell you whether or not your style is really effective. Ask for feedback from your subordinates so you can fully understand their point of view and see your flaws.
Improve on your weaknesses and leverage your strengths. You cannot simply go along and ignore your weaknesses, thinking that your strengths will somehow tip the scale and still make you a great leader in the end. Once you get a good idea of what you can and cannot do, try to work on your lacking abilities and weaknesses because there might come a time when what you are lacking may be something that a situation would call for. Never settle, and keep on improving your leadership abilities. Use your strengths to your advantage while working on your weaknesses on the side.
Find an inspiration. Read up on famous leaders and try to understand how they lead their people and organizations. They could be the present leaders of our country, leaders in a small organization, or even people we find in history books. By doing this, you get new ideas that you can try out, get to know someone you want to be like, or aim to become better in the near future. You may eventually discover new skills that will enable you to become a better leader. Do not consider bootlegging their style or be a mere copycat without originality; rather, recognize the path you need to take for you to become a better leader and develop your unique style of leadership.
Try something new. Learn other methods to revamp your leadership style. Old ways, like increasing monetary rewards, may not work anymore in this day and age. It is only high time you learn new ones. Here are some techniques you may not have tried yet:
Delegate challenging tasks. Some people think that being a leader is all about being the one with the biggest pants, and the one to always speak with a microphone. Let your subordinates take the lead sometimes. After all, the point of being a leader, aside from being the one calling the shots, is to inspire others to improve and eventually become leaders themselves.
Inject a dose of humor. If your subordinates are already feeling a bit bored in their jobs, try to inject humor to lighten up the mood and motivate your employees. This helps lessen stress. Being funny will also add to your charisma as a leader.
Get to know your subordinates. Take a day to get a feel of how your subordinates work on their tasks so that you can get a good grasp of their point of view in the corporate structure. Join them in their banters in the break room, have what they are having—by the following days or week, you know how to deal with them better as a leader.
Your leadership style should always be a work in progress. Adaptation to new subordinates and new situations is always necessary. Making a conscious effort to develop your leadership style is a wise investment of your time.

*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, June 1, 2014. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.