Diversity of Leadership Styles builds Business

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In Performance Focused Organisations, diversity in style is welcomed. PFOs are not “cloned” organisations where a mono-culture exists. Rather the ideal is an active culture built around strong and deployed values where diversity is welcomed, honoured and respected.

Leadership styles vary. Some are strongly driven, some are strongly people-oriented. Others are detailed, thorough and exact, cautious or forever seeking opportunities. Some leadership styles work best in small groups, some are best in very large teams. As long as there is a central respect of People, Results, Profits, Customers and Process, each style has a part to play.

A Performance Focused Organisation recognises the wonderful jigsaw that can be built from a diversity of styles, fitting each person and accompanying style with tasks best suited to them. Mixing our metaphors, the organisation weaves a fascinating tapestry with the variations in the styles and textures of leadership. It is an extreme approach, unfortunately. In general, people feel comfortable within areas similar to their own zones of comfort; it is easier to have a mono-style environment than a challenging, exciting atmosphere created by the dynamism of a range of styles.

From a personal perspective, the ability to undertake more than one style of leadership has great benefits for an organisation. This goes beyond the well-loved 4-quadranted leadership approach model — it is a person who can adapt to tackle different needs. A person who can successfully drive a large, risky, much needed change through an organisation within a tight time frame. Who can then move on to manage a team of people that needs settling after the change, and then performs important but routine work. Who can also and simultaneously step up and manage the Sales Team until a new manager is appointed.

Such extreme leadership ability is built on a level of comfort with personal vulnerability and a focus on Self Awareness and Self Growth. It takes significant courage to spend time reflecting on our Self and our impact on others, on taking responsibility for our behaviours where we haven’t faced those areas before, on overcoming old patterns built early in life. Such reflection and action takes courage. In the beginning we feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. The best leaders push through this and grow in Self Wisdom and ability. This indeed is extreme leadership.

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