A senior leader of a corporate client recently expressed frustration at one of her senior manager’s continued dogmatic, almost autocratic style of leadership, which was beginning to irk a number of people in and around his team. In his defence he was only trying to get everyone else to respond to emergency situations as assertively as he did, but it nevertheless seemed to be heading for real issues, and possibly even a disastrous situation for the manager and organisation.
It seemed that due to his background (para-military) and personality, he was defaulting to using his usual or trained style of leadership in all circumstances. He was not consciously aware of adapting this style to match the demands of the situation or people he was dealing with.
It reminded me of an article I read some time ago by Daniel Goleman which provided a handy summary of some of these leadership styles and when they could and should be used. He includes a handy table in the article which I have shared with many clients.