Situational leadership: What 2021 has taught us about human leadership styles.
It has always been important to adjust your leadership style to suit the situation. Over the last couple of years, we’ve clearly seen why. A standard approach to leadership has not worked during the pandemic, and nor should we rely on it in more ‘normal’ times. We need to change with the situation and human leadership is paving the way for the future.
Situational leadership isn’t just a theory. It’s a good leadership practice that asks you to consider your leadership actions rather than simply react.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, you can learn about it in my post “What is situational leadership?”
Different leadership styles.
While there are many different leadership styles, there are four that we commonly call on in the role. Back in 2019, I recommended the transformational leadership style. This is one that puts a significant emphasis on listening to employees and involving them in decision making. However, it also requires you to take charge when it’s appropriate. There are strong elements of situational leadership in this style and, as it turns out, my recommendation was proven correct. I must have known something!
The power of influence.
The best leaders during this tough couple of years have been those who could influence their people to action. These are the leaders who have had the most impact on their teams and their outcomes. How did they gain such influence?
It all began with communication – asking questions to gather information and listening to what was (or was not) being said. Clever questioning gives you information and can change the way someone thinks. What a powerful way to influence actions and outcomes. How does it work? I show you how questions hijack the brain in this post, “How to become a more influential leader.”
Leadership in action.
From very early on in the pandemic, one person showed us the way forward. Her leadership style showed a high level of emotional intelligence, and that gave us the clues on how to lead today. Who was it? It was Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister. You will have your own opinion of her as a leader. She supported and inspired her people when they desperately needed to know things would be OK. She adapted her leadership style to the situation and got results. I shared my thoughts on the topic in a video post called, “The secret to Jacinda Ardern’s widely popular leadership style.”
Human leadership skills.
Here’s the point. I’ve often said the primary theme throughout leadership is the human connection. It took a pandemic for some leaders to accept the need for soft skills, and to see empathy as an important human leadership skill. I ask you: what kind of leader can you be if you don’t have the human touch? It’s what helps you choose the best leadership style to give people what they need.
There is no situational leadership if you can’t understand and interpret how your people are thinking and feeling. Simon Sinek says, “"We're living in a time when we're more judgemental, we're bad at listening, we think things are black and white, when, in reality, they're mostly grey. I think there are a lot of human skills that are missing. I would love to teach us all to be a little more human."
What about 2022?
The new year is almost here. We don’t know what it will bring, but we do know we’ll still be recovering from the impact of the pandemic. For you, it means your human leadership skills will still be needed. Your leadership will still need to adapt to the situation. Your people will still need your strength and influence to know how to move forward.
Are you ready for the challenge?
Prepare yourself for whatever 2022 will throw at you. Work with me to take your career, impact and leadership to the next level. Become confident and comfortable with your human leadership skills. Book a free, 30-minute discovery session with me, and let’s make sure you achieve the goals you aspire to.
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P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you intensify your impact, influence and income.
1. Grab a Copy of my Latest Book (available in all good bookstores, and on Audible)
2. FREE - Test Your Leadership Scorecard:
Discover your leadership score and the 9 leadership accelerators to increase your ability to intensify your impact and performance. — Click Here
3. Join our Master Influence Program and be a Case Study
If you're ambitious, this is for you - I’m putting together a new leadership case study group… stay in touch for details. If you’d like to work with me to master the art of influence and unleash your most powerful self…Click Here
The ability to influence is the greatest accelerator of impact and performance, and it intensely affects our career, our income and how we lead people. — Find Out More
4. Work with me privately
If you’d like to work with me privately to take your career, impact and leadership to the next level… send me a message and with the word “Privately”… tell me about yourself and what you'd like to focus on together and achieve, and I’ll get you all the details! — Click Here
Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished, award-winning CEO and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.