Leadership Styles for Stage 2 Companies

Leadership Styles for Stage 2 Companies 11-19 employees

The challenge of running an organization full of independent, smart, willing-to-learn people can be a bit overwhelming. After all, many of us started our companies without having the benefit of ‘leading’ or ‘managing’ people. We may have witnessed leadership styles and been on the end of ‘being managed’ and more than likely we all came away with a definite opinion of what we liked and didn’t like.

As a Stage 2 company, there are some leadership issues that should be addressed in order to help a leader create their vision for the future and reach their mission.

First, recognize that leaders bring a ‘blend’ of styles to their approach with employees. A Stage 2 leader’s best blend of leadership styles are:

Dominant: Coaching

Secondary: Pacesetting

Auxiliary: Commanding

Coaching is the primary leadership style for a Stage 2 leader. A coaching style helps people identify their strengths and weaknesses and ties these to career opportunities.

Coaching is a tough style to develop as it takes patience and the ability to ask inquiring questions that allow the employee to think for themselves and solve problems. Coaches facilitate action, they don’t necessarily solve the problems.

However, this style is difficult to use with people who lack motivation or who require excessive direction and feedback. Coaching works best with employees who show initiative and want to professionally develop. Again, that’s why it’s critical that there is a combination of styles a leader brings to the plate. They must be able to assess each situation and each employee and determine the right style to fit at the right time.

This style is secondary in the blend of a Stage 2 leader. Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and exemplify it. However, this is a Dissonant leadership style and works the best in technical fields, among highly skilled professionals, and/or a hard driving sales team.

A Pacesetting style should be used sparingly as it can be unnerving to staff who feel too pushed. Because the Pacesetting leader has a tendency to come across as micromanaging, the staff feel they have to second guess what the leader wants because it’s never ‘good enough’.

Successful use of this style must be combined with the leadership competency, empathy. This leader must also have competencies in communication and collaboration and be extremely good at emotional self-management.

This is a style that has to be used sparingly and with sound judgment. This is the least effective leadership style as it is sometimes called the ‘coercive approach’. With that said, it does have its place in a company at very specific times and for specific reasons. For a Stage 2 company, this is the auxiliary style and it only shows up as an auxiliary style for a Stage One and Stage 2 company. It never shows up again as a leadership style.

To be effective, this style must be used with specific competencies such as influence, achievement (leader exerts forceful direction in order to get better results) and initiative (takes forceful steps to get things done). The most important competency that must be a part of this style is emotional self control – a leader must keep their anger and impatience in check.

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