Whether you are leading the homeowners association Board, a standing committee or project teams, people in your community look to you for guidance and support. Some leadership styles are more effective for team building, and some styles can be counterproductive for a specific situation. The best leaders adapt the style that works best for getting results in different situations.
A lot of research has been conducted to determine how leadership style affects morale and team results. One such study —Daniel Goleman’s Harvard Business Review, Leadership That Gets Results, found that leadership style was responsible for 30% of the company’s profitability in a three-year study of 3000 mid-level managers.
A homeowners association operates much like a business, so imagine how adapting your leadership style to fit the situation can inspire and motivate your Board members or team. Here are six leadership styles that you can adopt and put into action immediately.
1. Pacesetting Leaders expect and models excellence and self-direction. This “Do as I do, now” style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled, and the leader needs quick results. Be careful to use this style more sparingly as it can overwhelm team members and stifle innovation.
2. Authoritative Leaders focus on results and common vision, but it leaves the means up to each team member. This “Come with me.” style works best when the team needs a new vision because circumstances have changed, or when explicit guidance is not required. It inspires an entrepreneurial spirit and team enthusiasm. It’s not a good fit when the team members know more about the topic than the leader.
3. Affiliative Leaders create emotional bonds and a sense of belonging. This style of “People come first” works best in times of stress when teams need to rebuild trust. Overuse can foster mediocre performance and a lack of direction.
4. Coaching Leaders develop others. This “Try this.” style works well to enhance individual strengths that make the person and team more successful. It’s least effective when team members do not want to learn or the leader lacks knowledge.
5. Coercive Leaders require compliance. This “Do what I tell you.” style is most effective in times of crisis or controlling a major problem with a team member. Avoid this style in other situations because it can alienate team members.
6. Democratic Leaders build consensus through participation. This “What do you think?” style is effective in getting team buy-in on a decision and fresh ideas. It is not the best choice in emergencies or when teams are not informed enough to offer sufficient guidance to the leader.