Have you ever found yourself struggling to receive concrete feedback from your supervisor about your leadership style, only to watch colleagues climb the career ladder ahead of you? What sets them apart? Their technical skills seem to be on par with, or even inferior to, your own, yet they’re the ones getting promoted.
The truth is that soft skills and leadership styles play a critical role in career advancement. A strong leadership style can significantly elevate your perceived abilities. We often look to our own managers to help us improve our skills to grow. Yet, a survey by CareerBuilder found that 58% of managers said they didn’t receive any management training when they transitioned into their leadership roles. So, how can you identify and develop a leadership style that will not only align with your unique strengths and objectives but also lead to a successful career?
Let’s explore strategies for refining your leadership style, empowering both personal growth and team success in the competitive world of marketing.
Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses
The first step in developing your leadership style is to take an honest look at yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are you a great communicator, or do you struggle to articulate your ideas clearly? Are you a natural problem solver, or do you tend to avoid taking risks?
To help with this process, consider taking a personality test or seeking feedback from colleagues and mentors. By understanding your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll have a better idea of the areas where you excel and where you need to improve.
Understand different leadership styles
There are various leadership styles out there, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most common styles include:
- Autocratic: This leader makes decisions without consulting their team. They expect team members to follow their directives without question.
- Democratic: This leader involves team members in decision-making processes and encourages open communication.
- Transformational: This leader inspires and motivates team members to achieve their full potential by setting high expectations and fostering a supportive environment.
- Laissez-faire: This leader takes a hands-off approach, giving team members the freedom to make decisions and work independently.
See our guide on these different leadership styles and think about which one(s) might align best with your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to just one style – many effective leaders use a combination of styles depending on the situation.
Learn from role models
Identify leaders you admire and analyze their leadership styles. They could be people in your professional network or well-known managers whose style you admire. What qualities do they possess that you’d like to emulate? What can you learn from their successes and failures?
By studying your role models, you can gain valuable insights into the traits and behaviors that make them effective leaders. This can help inform your own leadership style and guide you as you develop your skills.
Develop a personal leadership philosophy
A personal leadership philosophy is a statement that outlines your values, beliefs, and guiding principles as a leader. It serves as a compass, helping you stay true to your core beliefs and guiding your decisions and actions.
To create your personal leadership philosophy, reflect on the following questions:
- What are your core values and beliefs?
- What kind of leader do you aspire to be?
- How do you want to make decisions and solve problems?
- How will you communicate with and motivate your team?
Write down your answers and use them as a foundation for your personal leadership philosophy. Revisit and revise your philosophy periodically as you grow and learn in your leadership role.
Seek feedback and continuously improve
As you develop your leadership style, it’s important to seek feedback from your team members and colleagues. They can provide valuable insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. Be open to constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to grow and develop your skills.
Continuously work on improving your leadership abilities. Attend workshops or seminars, read books, or seek out mentorship from experienced leaders in your industry. Remember that great leaders never stop learning and growing.
Developing your unique leadership style takes time, reflection, and commitment. Your leadership style will evolve as you gain experience and grow in your career. Be open to change, embrace new challenges, and always strive for improvement. As a leader in the marketing world, your ability to inspire, motivate, and guide your team will be crucial to your success.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you continue to develop your leadership style:
- Stay true to yourself: Authenticity is key in leadership. Don’t try to mimic someone else’s leadership style if it doesn’t feel right for you. Embrace your unique qualities and let them shine in your leadership role.
- Adapt to different situations: No single leadership style is perfect for every situation. Be willing to adapt your approach depending on the needs of your team and the challenges you face.
- Foster a positive and supportive environment. Great leaders create an atmosphere where team members feel valued, respected, and empowered. This can lead to increased productivity, creativity, and job satisfaction.
- Communicate effectively: Clear and open communication is essential for any leader. Make an effort to keep your team informed, listen to their ideas and concerns, and encourage collaboration.
By following these guidelines and staying committed to your personal growth as a leader, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in your marketing career.