C-Suite Network™

What’s Your Leadership Style?

Leadership Style

What is your leadership style? In a February 2020 blog posting on HubSpot, Braden Becker lists eight common leadership styles: 

  • Democratic
  • Autocratic
  • Laissez-Faire 
  • Strategic
  • Transformational
  • Transactional
  • Coaching
  • Bureaucratic

What almost everyone forgets is that to be a leader, you need people to lead. Whatever you call them: Employees, Teammates, Associates, Peers, Co-Workers, Partners, Staff, Colleagues or Collaborators—how well you’re able to engage with them, and your leadership style, will determine your success or failure as a leader.  Being a leader automatically implies you have a relationship with the people around you. And suddenly, your skills as a leader require you also to have skills connecting with and managing other human beings.

A friend of ours was president of a global advertising agency. People who worked for him loved him, respected him, and were in awe of his mind and his knowledge of marketing. But one of his direct reports also knew his weak spot: “[He’s] like the drum major of a college band at the halftime show. He comes out first or bursts out of the band wearing that beautiful fur hat and pumping his baton in time to the music. Then he ups his gait and starts striding down the field two to three yards at a time. But he forgets to look back to see if the band is following.”

What good is being a leader if you don’t engage your followers?

Professional Coaching is a Smart Strategy

If you want to get to the top of your game and stay there, you should add a coach to your organization or your toolbox; it’s a smart strategy. A professional coach. Not a “therapist.” Not a “trainer.” Not someone with a “method.” An individual or organization with the ability to understand what you’re looking to achieve and can help you get there. 

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has a coach—Wim Fissette. When they interviewed him after Naomi’s 2021 Australian Open victory, he articulated exactly what Mastery Under Pressure is all about: “When her attitude is good, her mind is very clear what she needs to do, what she wants to do and then she plays well.” All of those attributes are learned skills…and you should learn what the pros already know.

Benchmark Athletes and Artists

As we wrote in our blog about professional coaching, business leaders have a blind spot. Probably acquired while getting our MBA degrees. Most business schools studied…businesses. Very few business schools look outside the corporate universe to give us a smart strategy to apply to our jobs and careers. And what’s the smartest strategy of all?

Let It Go

When you’re playing in the Super Bowl and the ref makes a blatantly bad call, what was Tom Brady’s smart strategy? When you’re playing in the U.S. Open final and your opponent is fighting with herself and the line judges, what was Naomi Osaka’s smart strategy? When you’re leading in The Masters and your tee shot goes into the rough, what was Tiger Woods’ smart strategy? Every great athlete and performer knows there’s plenty of time later to get upset, angry, frustrated, or annoyed. At the moment, they all have a shared talent. They know how to let it go.

It’s a Tool and a Technique

Knowing how to let it go is a shared attribute of the calmest, coolest leaders you know. In every field and every profession. And while a very few of them might come by that ability naturally, it’s a learned technique for the great majority of us. Some of us learn it sooner than others, but we can all learn how to not let the pressure of the moment get to us. It’s just one of the skills you’ll master in the Mastery Under Pressure program. And another reason why we say we’ll make your best, better.

Have you figured out your leadership style yet? 


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Tina Greenbaum
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