What leadership style am I

I am a good leader… now… I wasn’t in the early days of my leadership journey. I am one of the 90% of hoomanz on planet earth who aren’t born leaders. I am a bred leader. Through and through. Every leadership lesson I have learnt – especially the big ones – has been obtained through the school of hard knocks. 

One of the questions I used to ask myself was, ‘what leadership style am I?’. Which is a nice question… not a great question, but a nice question… 

A better question would be, ‘what leadership style do I want to develop?’ 

And some leaders say to me in coaching that they are stuck with their style, and they can’t change. For them, they are one style, and that is it. Not true, but remember if you believe it, it is real for you.  

Leadership is learnt.  

If you are happy with your current leadership style, stick with it, but if you think there might be an opportunity to change or improve something, try that and see what happens. 

Upgrade your mindset, upskill your leadership, and uplift your teams. 

But how do I develop my leadership style? Now that is a great question? 

Let me explain. 

1. Get back to basics 

Now, at least 50% of my readership will check out after this paragraph. Tell you why. Because every time I use the word transformational leadership, our clients say that it is outdated, it is cliché, it is boring. 

And it might be boring for you… 

But it is not boring for your teams, and your team members, who want you to demonstrate transformational leadership; rather than transactional leadership. 

Transformation leadership, in its simplest form, is about creating more leaders. Plain and simple. That means seeing the potential in others, being willing to develop them, and making sure that they get the opportunity to shine.  

As a team member, who doesn’t want that? Just because you don’t like the word transformational, doesn’t mean that is not what is required.  

Be transformative. Don’t direct your team members (transactions). Be proactive (not reactive) and communication for connection, not direction. 

What leadership style am I – heading towards transformational! 

2. Focus on your communication style not your leadership style 

Here is a thought for you – instead of trying to work out what style of leader you are, work out what type of communicator you are.  

Something as simple as DISC profiling can tell you if you are Dominant (direct), Influential (connected), Steady (facilitative), or conscientious (detailed).  

And if that style is working for you, double down on it. If you think you might like to learn another style, do it.  

High Ds or High Cs aren’t great communication styles for leaders. There are times when you need to be direct or focus on numbers. Cool. But I can tell you that team members don’t respond to leaders who are high D or high C. There is just no connection. 

The big thing about focusing on your communication style is that you get to know yours, but you also get to know other people’s styles. 

Having done DISC work for so long (and this is a bit of my weirdness), I categorise people when I speak to them into D, I, S, or C, and I try to tailor my style to theirs. Why, because people don’t want to be communicated with in your style, they want to be communicated with in their style. Simple. 

What leadership style am I – what communication style am I? 

3. You can get all theoretical on it 

I am theory based hooman. I am studying a PhD into leading under pressure, and how to help leaders stay calm during trying times. I spend my weekends reading research reports – no kidding. And I love it.  

Someone asked me in a session the other day, where all of my knowledge retention comes from, and all I could say is that I research a lot.  

There are very few leaders that I come across, that could really hold a quality conversation about leadership styles. Which is cool.  

I just think that if you really want to know what leadership style you are, go deep on the data. And unpack the research and the statistics. The way to do this is to put ‘scholarly articles’ at the back of your search in Google. Google will give you a list of research that has been done on the topic.  

The words ‘what leadership style am I’ are some of the most searched on Google, in relation to leadership (see Answer the Public).  

Most people would do a quick search and move on – but to really answer this question is a full day of research, pick 20 research articles, and unpack them. Unpack and understand the research. If that appeals to you. If not, all g. Again, you do you. 

My research has taken me through theories like authentic, conscious, and charismatic leadership. There is the Great Man theory of leadership (not really PC, but hey), there is humanistic leadership, there is trait leadership, contingent leadership, there is even Machiavellian leadership theories (definitely Google that one). 

Even Adolf Hitler wrote a book on leadership. True story. I can’t bring myself to read that one, yet, but it is out there. 

Again, it is good to know where you are now, but it is even better to be heading for some leadership style that is more aligned with who you want to become. 

What leadership style am I – what leadership styles are there? 

You’ll find one that suits you. Then, go after it. Tell people what you are trying to achieve, and really, really, lean into that style. 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
UPSKILL your Leadership
UPLIFT your Teams

About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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