Friday, December 5, 2008

What's Your Leadership Style?

Lately, I'm more interested in writing on topics that are universally applicable, and not related only to China. Please bear with me, and comment if you find it interesting. In addition, as Fortuna would have it, I have recently been offered opportunity in other parts of the world. I'll keep you posted on that as well in later posts.

As I moved into management, I read widely. I also studied my managers, making note of those I thought were effective, and those that I didn't like. I often tried to copy what I read in books, or tried to duplicate the style of one of my managers that I found particularly skilled. As you may imagine, those experiments were not as successful as I had hoped. Why not? The simple answer is that I have my own particular style, and attempting to manage outside of that style just doesn't work. I'm not saying that you can't develop new techniques. You certainly can, but you'll only be truly effective (and happy) if you work to your strengths.

I'm a teacher, and a coach. There have been times when I've had to be hard and discipline or even fire people. I've done so, but it has been hard on me. When I build organizations, I make every effort to populate them with people that will respond to my style. That's not always possible, but as I'm aware of my weaker points, I can compensate, either by myself or by hiring someone who is stronger than I am in certain areas.

What is your management style? Are you a command figure who likes to know every detail? Do you prefer to teach? Understanding your particular style and inclinations will help you build and lead more effective organizations.

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