No matter where we are on our career path, we will all have to wrestle with leadership roles at some point. Whether it’s taking charge on a small project or heading an entire department, eventually we will be in the position of rallying a group of people to find a solution to a problem.
Of course, while there are some right and wrong ways to lead, there is no single style that suits everyone. There are many different ways to lead a group, and you should find the leadership style that best fits you and the goals you are trying to achieve.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to harness your leadership abilities, here are six ways to figure out what type of leader you are:
1. Know Your Personality Traits
The only way you can truly understand the type of leader you are is to assess your personality. Examine the dominant characteristics of your personality, and pay attention to how they emerge in a work, friendship or family environment.
Think about the attributes colleagues and friends most often ascribe to you. Assessing the naure of your character in these settings is crucial to understanding how you will lead a team. This is because our behavioral traits always play a part in how we make our decisions, interact with others and handle stress.
Take some time to ask yourself what typically drives your choices. Think about how often factors such as determination, impulsiveness and patience shape how you act and find resolutions. Answering these questions will give you a better understanding of your leadership thought process and habits.
2. Know Your Values
Values are yardsticks of behavior. They are traits upon which reputations are built. People use values to gauge personalities, understand how a person thinks and even evaluate the ways in which they are being perceived and treated.
Values help us to determine the people we can rely on, how a person might react to a situation and who we want to shoulder our future. When employees cannot identify the core values of their leader, they’re not only more likely to feel suspicious of the leader’s abilities; they’re also likely to mistrust that person’s direction and agenda.
Respect, impact, authenticity, courage and integrity are all examples of core values that affect how you will consciously and subconsciously lead your team. Consider the values that typically inform your behaviors. By focusing on what you believe and value, you can positively build on your comprehension of your leadership qualities and abilities.
3. Identify Your Weaknesses
Leading by your strengths isn’t always as effective as you might think. To be a truly great leader, you have to be able to understand your weaknesses and learn how they will affect your leadership role. Once you identify them you can use that knowledge to improve your leadership style.
Not only will this help you to strengthen your weaknesses; it will also assist in getting your team to recognize your competence and authenticity. Being transparent about the flaws you hope to overcome can help inspire your team to improve themselves as well.
4. Ask For Feedback
You can take as many leadership personality quizzes as you want, but you will never gain a full understanding of the type of leader you are without feedback from those you lead. Getting your colleagues’ opinions of your leadership style will give you valuable insight into behaviors you might have never picked up on otherwise.
Whether you collect these perspectives from a survey box at the office or meet with your co-workers face to face, asking your team to give you feedback about your leadership skills will give you a better comprehension of your personality traits, strengths, weaknesses and perceived values.
Additionally, building a culture of feedback among your colleagues can help you improve how you address and interact with your team. The best way to steer your company is with the full knowledge of how you can better meet the needs of those around you.
5. Assess Your Ability To Delegate
Sometimes it’s hard to let go. This is especially true for leaders who’ve cradled a business from the beginning. Nevertheless, a strong indicator of leadership lies in a person’s ability to entrust others with complex details.
As you try to figure out what type of leader you are and formulate a way to improve your leadership style, consider the tasks you could authorize to others. Areas that are outside of your wheelhouse, such as social media management, web design, SEO and PR, are jobs that might be better suited for other members of your team. Not only will leaving these jobs to others help you to focus your efforts; it will also help you to establish a sense of trust among your team.
6. Observe Your Leaders
Most people’s personalities are shaped by those who hold an influence over them. Initially, these people are our parents and teachers; eventually, they are leaders like our bosses and managers. Whether we realize it or not, the traits of these influencers impact how we make decisions, behave under pressure and address problems.
As you try to figure out what type of leader you are, take some time to think about the leaders in your life whose qualities are most like your own. While analyzing the skill packages of the leaders you have worked with, pinpoint what traits of theirs have affected your role as a leader.
Gaining a sense of how you have applied these assets to your approach as a leader will help you to understand the ways in which you currently affect your company’s culture.