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What’s Your Leadership Style? (#64)

The Confident Leader

Recently, I asked a group of leaders in one of our leadership cohorts: What’s your leadership style? Some were puzzled by the question, realizing they did not know. They embraced the question. Find out what they discovered and how that impacted their view of their leadership.

If you stand for nothing, Burr, what’ll you fall for?
— Alexander Hamilton (played by Lin Manuel Miranda in Hamilton)

This Week’s Edition

If you possess leadership authority (according to last week’s newsletter #63), how are you using that authority? Meaning, what is your leadership approach, your style?

Clarify Your Thinking

The cohort leaders asked me, “Robin, what do you mean by leadership style? Can you give us some examples?”


I said, “No. The question is intentionally vague. If I give you an example or a list of styles it will be easy for you to say, ‘oh, that’s me. That’s my style.’ I would rob you of the process of discovery and your ultimate revelation.”  As a result, the leaders began to dig in.  

·      Leadership style is a leader’s characteristic behaviors when directing, motivating, guiding and managing groups of people.

·      Common styles are authoritarian, participative, delegative, transformational, transactional, coaching, bureaucratic, pace-setting, etc…


One leader expressed, “I’m frustrated. None of these styles represent the entirety of my leadership. I don’t appear to fit neatly into any of these leadership labels. As a result, it makes me think I don’t really have a leadership style or worse I just don’t have what it takes to be a leader.”


“Exactly. So, why wouldn’t you want to author your own leadership style? You can go shopping for aspects of your leadership as you read through the labels and their definitions. Stitch together your own personal leadership uniform,” I offered.


The challenge with not knowing your specific personal leadership style is that it’s difficult to 1) repeat effective leadership behaviors and 2) almost impossible to change bad leadership habits. You just don’t know which aspect of your leadership style produced which result. This can make you prone to just winging your leadership.


Old Thinking: I’ll just wing my leadership and continue to guess what might work. I’m beginning to doubt my leadership approach.

New Thinking: I wonder what my leadership style is. When I know what I do well I can keep doing that and add new leadership skills along the way.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

The leaders in the cohort reflected on their leadership. They followed these three steps:


Step 1: List your leadership strengths.

Step 2: Tie those strengths to specific results you have achieved.

Step 3: Reach out to two colleagues and ask them to share their view of your leadership style.


As a result of this exercise, the leaders 1) discovered how their leadership style produced their desired results and 2) learned how others experienced their style – a more objective view of that style.


Armed with this new definition of their style, the leaders were emboldened to:

·      Exercise their style to generate consistent results.

·      Add new elements to their style to increase their leadership effectiveness.

·      Adjust their style in certain situations to achieve different outcomes.



Boost Your Performance

While each leader who authored their leadership style discovered the details of their effective leadership, they also discovered a gap in their leadership that has plagued them for years. Identifying their leadership gap so clearly allowed them to fully embrace the leadership development they needed. Find out the details in this week’s video.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is your leadership style? Share it with me at

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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