How do you decide on the leadership style that’s best for you? What is most important in thinking about this question is to realize that your leadership style will always be a work-in-progress. You can’t just simply look at a “style book” and practice. You have to think about what you do well and then translate that into leadership traits.
Here are some questions you might ask yourself as you think of a leadership style that works well for you:
- Do you have strong organizational skills?
- Are you efficient?
- Are you good at teaching others?
- Are you a good listener?
- Do others turn to you when they are troubled?
- Do you have strong personal values?
- Are you a future thinker?
- Do you like to help others?
- Are you driven to achieve your goals?
- Are you creative?
For each of these questions, begin to think of the contributions you could make to others if you were in a leadership position, what you will want to do is to develop 3-5 potential leadership strengths you can build on.
Next see how you might demonstrate these skills in the leadership opportunity you identified. (See the topic: Developing A Leadership Plan). You should begin to see what contributions others look to you to provide. You should also see where you are challenged. These are the leadership skills you need to develop.
While you are practicing your leadership development, you might want to read biographies of leaders you admire. Your focus in your reading should be in the early years in their development. While their leadership style will be different from yours, think about the development process they used. It’s the process you can learn from.
You will want to continue your developmental discoveries as you get new opportunities. The key is to give serious thought to the key moments in your overall development.
If you follow the process described above, you will graduate with skills that many college graduates will not have. You should also be able to stand out in the early months of your career.