If you manage an insurance company or department, you no doubt know that your style of management/leadership needs to change periodically depending on the needs of your team members.
In fact, a groundbreaking study from The Harvard Review found that 30% of a company’s profitability could be linked directly to a manager’s leadership style!
You know you have different styles of leadership, and you know that you need to change them periodically depending on the needs of your team. But how do you know which style and when? Read below for some clues.
- You should use an authoritative leadership style when you and your team have a common vision and you’re focused on reaching the goals, not how the team gets there. In other words, you don’t have to micromanage; you tell your team what needs to be done and you trust that they’ll get it done.
- A pacesetter style expects excellence and self-direction and models this behavior. A one-sentence summary of this style could be “Do it as I do and do it now.” If your team is experienced and motivated and you want quick results, this leadership style is appropriate.
- If you need your team to own a major decision, goal or plan, or if you’re not quite sure about something and need ideas from your team, try the democratic leadership style. This style runs under the motto of asking staff members “What do you think?” This allows you to get buy-in from your team and get ideas from them. Best not use this style in a crisis or when the members of your team don’t have as much information as you do to offer good ideas.
- The coach works to develop her team. This is a good style of leadership when you want to build your team members’ individual strengths in order to help make them – and your department – more successful overall. Not a good idea to implement if your staff members are unwilling to learn or change, or if they’re in a defiant mindset.
- If you need your team members to do something or agree to something immediately, the “do as I tell you” style of leadership (coercive) could be the right style for the moment. This style is most effective in a crisis. It also can help to control a troublemaker (after everything else has failed). This style should be avoided most of the time, otherwise you risk alienating your staff members and possibly curtailing their creativity.