Developing a personal brand as a leader is a journey which spans throughout one’s career and stepping into a management role does not mean losing one’s authenticity, rather it means that a different approach is required. There is no fixed approach or method of developing a leadership style; however, this article by Emily Ostermeyer, published for Harvard Business School Online (2019), provides some tips for developing a unique leadership style.
1. Imitation Is the Enemy: Leadership requires using different qualities depending on the context and situation; therefore, no two leaders can be the same.
2. Know your strengths and weaknesses: Leaders must be aware of the qualities they possess and areas where they need to improve. Becoming a great manager means one must work on oneself so that he/she can support and develop others.
3. Understand the Influence of Bias: Developing leadership style means understanding that certain aspects of leaders’ approaches may cause others to interpret their behavior through subconscious biases. This can be affected by factors such as gender, race, and nationality, etc.
4. Be Brave: Research shows that subconscious attitudes can be counteracted when others are exposed firsthand to performance track records. Leaders should honestly reflect how their teams perceive them and also be aware of their own biases and judgments regarding their team members. This is a quality of a brave and confident leader.
By taking time for self-reflection, understanding the influence of biases, and seeking out opportunities to demonstrate bravery, one can develop a unique leadership style.
Ostermeyer, Emily. “4 TIPS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR PERSONAL LEADERSHIP STYLE.” Harvard Business School Online, 19 Apr. 2019, online.hbs.edu/blog/post/developing-your-leadership-style.
– Written for LEADIN