As with everything in life, there is never a one-size fits-all solution. When it comes time to apply the ‘right” leadership style, simply remember this – there are advantages and disadvantages to each of the three styles previously introduced: Transactional, Transformational and Quiet.
Transactional: This is a very direct approach; the team will know exactly what is required of them and the implied consequences of failure. It is best used to address short-term issues of performance. This style does not do much to establish any leader/follower relationship built on trust or engagement. It will likely stifle creativity, could reduce motivation and may lead to loss of loyalty over a period of time.
Transformational: This approach is exciting, energizing and inclusive! It helps boost morale and instill confidence in followers. However, the natural high level of energy of transformational leaders can be very wearing for the follower when it is relentlessly applied. Too much enthusiasm and confidence may be mistaken for truth and reality.
Quiet: This style of leadership demonstrates concern for the thoughts and feelings of others. A quiet leader is seen to be responsive to the needs of others and demonstrates that s/he is listening to what the team is saying. Quiet leaders, however, may find their job harder when they are surrounded by extroverts. By being too focused on peace and harmony this leader may develop a culture of “settling”. They sometimes compromise unduly or just avoid conflict all together.
Leadership is diverse. There is no one “right” leadership approach. Be “agile” in your approach.
Lisa DiTullio, Principal, Your Project Office, www.yourprojectoffice.com