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Effective Leadership Styles Used by High-Performance Leaders

What are the most effective leadership styles for creating high performance?

If you have visited other pages on the site, you'll have guessed by now that I am biased towards leadership styles that are inclusive and inspire people to be at their best. But that style doesn't suit every situation.

During my career, I've been lucky enough to work as a leader within a couple of high-performance organizations. And, since hanging out my shingle as a high-performance leadership mentor in 2001, I've worked with many more organizations that are high-performing (or on the track to becoming so).

With this experience, of one thing I am sure. It is that leadership styles based on 'command and control' generally deliver the poorest business results, the worst customer service experience, and the least happy people.


Don't get me wrong; there is a place for command and control. If there is an emergency you do want someone to take control, make decisions, mobilize resources and people to get through the crisis. However, problems arise if this model is used in all places, at all times! And sadly, it is often the 'go to' style for many leaders.


Your leadership style gives your business unit (no matter how big or small) it's flavor. What flavor are you creating? 

Be Flexible

Your Leadership Style Is Largely Influenced by Two Things:

  • 1
    The culture of the organization you find yourself in
  • 2
    The quality of leadership, coaching and mentoring you experience as you move through your career

Whether we like it or not, we are deeply influenced by the environment in which we find ourselves. In the Potential Into Reality program we discuss the impact others have on your success. If you access the training, complete the "People You Associate With" exercise. It will help you decide who in your networks, you need to let go and who you need to spend more time with.


Were you deliberate in choosing the culture of the organization you work for? For example, if your style is to be empowering, and you find yourself in an environment where people are viewed as 'hired hands'  (who are paid to perform, not think), it can be soul destroying.

Whatever culture you are in learn from it. Either learn what to do or what not to do! If it's a 'what not to do' culture get your lesson and get out fast! You don't want to embed those traits into yourself.

Leadership isn't something you do, it is an expression of who you are!

An effective leadership style that works for one individual, or one organization, may not work for you and your situation:

  • How well do you think Southwest Airlines or Virgin would run with Jack Welch at the helm?
  • How much would Herb Kelleher struggle (within himself, at least) if he were to find himself a leader in The Ford Motor Company?
  • Winston Churchill was a great leader during World War 2. Yet in peacetime, the nation that had so recently held him in esteem as a hero leader, found his leadership style lacking.
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A word of caution. High-performance leadership means you have the skillset and mindset to be able to adapt your leadership style to suit the situation.


Do not try to make your preferred/(natural) style fit all circumstances. Remain flexible enough to alter your style to fit the situation at hand.


Use this link to discover various leadership styles. Use a style that works best for you, your team and your organization AND the specific circumstance you may be facing.


If you are ready to be at your best, take a peek at why leadership coaching with me may help you fast-track your career and enhance the quality of your life.

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