5 Leadership Styles to Inspire Peak Performance

The job of the leader is to get things done by leading others to success. It is important to develop leadership styles that suit different situations. The style used depends on the needs of the team.

Great leaders choose leadership styles based on the circumstances and the end goal. Here are the 5 leadership styles you should develop to inspire your team to deliver their peak performance.

Be a Structural Leader

The first leadership style is Structural.

Everyone knows exactly what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and to what standard. You accept complete responsibility for your staff. You choose them, you assign them, and you manage them with the expectation of excellence.

This style allows you to make quick decisions without the input or challenge of others.

The structural leadership style can allow for more transactional activities to occur. For example, rewarding or punishing team members based on their performance of your goals.

Use this style when your team is already motivated and are experts who need little direction.

However, using this style does not leave much room for flexibility. Using it too much or on a team that isn’t already motivated can lead to them to feeling overwhelmed or stifle innovation.

Be a Participative Leader

The next leadership style is Participative.

You make your team feel that you really care about them by putting them first.

You practice the “Friendship Factor” with them, which is made up of three components: time, care, and respect.

You treat them with the same respect, patience, and understanding.  The same way you would treat a family member or friend. You express care and concern for them and their problems. This fosters a feeling of bonding, belonging, and ownership to the organization.

This style boosts your team’s morale by allowing them to take part in reaching a consensus on decisions and goals. Their opinions and voices feel heard, which will help them buy into changes easier. It also works best when you need fresh ideas or new perspectives.

Use this style during stressful times or when trust needs to be built. Excessive reliance on praise can cause mediocre performance and a lack of clear, strong direction for the company.

Be a Servant-Leader

The third leadership style is Servant.

This makes the Participative style more one-sided, where you see your job as a means to serve your team just as they are there to serve you and the company.

You practice the Golden Rule — you manage other people the way you would like to be managed. You ensure everyone understands their job fully and has all the tools they need.

If they don’t, you offer plenty of learning, training, and improvement opportunities.

This style elicits peak performance because your employees are learning vital skills that will both improve their performance and character. Their participation, ideas, and feedback truly feel like they matter.

Use this style with a diverse team, where personalized management is required for each member. Servant leadership is a great style to start off with to gain a great deal of respect, trust, and loyalty. The style also builds a strong culture since it tailors to the team’s needs.

But if you don’t balance this style very well, this could lead to your team fully running the show.  It could create a lack of authority and limit direction and vision.

Be a Freedom-Thinking Leader

The next leadership style is Freedom.

You give your people the freedom to perform. Once you assign a task, you try to stay out of the way only to comment and help when needed.

You take on more of an authoritative role by pointing the team towards a vision or goal. However, similar to the Servant style, you leave the means up to each member.

This style inspires an entrepreneurial spirit with a clear goal in your team members. Especially if they need a new vision due to changes within the company.

Use this style when you have tremendous expertise and have a team of highly experienced employees who don’t require a lot of supervision.

The freedom style won’t work best when your team members are better experts than you or need more supervision. This can lead to poor production, lack of regular feedback, and lack of control.

Be a Transformational Leader

The last leadership style is Transformational.

This one is my personal favorite. Transformational leaders affect people’s emotions by painting a big, exciting picture of the future.

You transform people by tapping into their hopes, dreams, and ideals. You motivate employees by motivating yourself. You enhance productivity through high transparency and communication.

This style uses vision and the future to get your team excited and committed to a project. It doesn’t only require the ownership of your team to accomplish goals, it also requires your involvement as a leader. You lead by example by being excited and committing yourself to everything you say and do.

Use this style to focus on building lasting personal strengths. These strengths make your teammates more successful and confident in you, themselves, and the company.

Unless you lack proficiency or your team is defiant and unwilling to change or learn, this style will inspire work, alleviate fears, and help you overcome obstacles together.

Bring Your Team to Success

And there you have it— the 5 different leadership styles. Remember, the process of developing valuable leadership qualities is simple, but not easy. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

The good news is that by developing these styles, you will notice a change in your employees’ work. The 5 styles will bring your team to great success, increase productivity, and inspire peak performance.

Before we wrap up, I’d like to leave you with a thought to share with you friends and followers: “Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people.”

Now I’d love to hear from you, so my question today is: What is one skill you use to be an effective leader?

Leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to follow up with you.

What kind of leader are you? Download my free “Leadership Questionnaire” to find out how to effectively lead your business and team to success.

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • Good post, Brian. All it needs is a little dash of structural, participative, servant, freedom-thinking and transformational, and you will have one good recipe of a successful leader. A good leader does not stick in one style only, he has the ability to mix all to ensure the success of his team.

    -Brooke Harper, Tenfold

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