The Power and Pitfalls of a Decisive Leadership Style

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The Power and Pitfalls of a Decisive Leadership Style

The Power of a Strong, Authoritative Leadership Style

Whether you’re a woman business owner, a corporate executive or a team leader, if you’re a “natural leader,” you’re known as an independent self-starter who is energetic and self-reliant. It’s easier for you to gain expert or authority status than most of your peers. You’re decisive. You know how to take intelligent risks without your emotions holding you back.

As a child and a young adult, you probably demonstrated unusual inner strength and a spirited nature. Some adults applauded you, labeling you “a confident, born executive.” Others criticized you as “too big for your britches.”

Nonconformity may be part of your natural leadership style. You take charge. You meet challenges head-on. You’re courageous, honest and direct. When other people shy away from controversy, you head into battle with assertiveness and confidence. You easily sense other people’s weak spots. You protect, support and empower loyal people who support your organization’s mission.

The Pitfalls of a Natural Leadership Personality

For you, working with incompetent, indecisive individuals or people who act at a slow pace can feel like enduring the sound of fingers scraping a chalkboard over and over. You often place too much pressure on yourself. Work-life balance can be a major challenge. When people don’t follow through or things go awry, your blood pressure can soar.

You’ve probably more than once been labeled authoritarian, controlling, insensitive, demanding or bossy. A previous article in this series discussed your strengths, your resiliency and how strong women leaders in male-dominated industries are often misunderstood and mislabeled.

You know you can depend on yourself. Because you’re so capable, you may sometimes wish you could accomplish every task alone. Self-sufficiency is highly important to you. It can be uncomfortable to feel vulnerable, triggering a fear that you aren’t in control of your life or safe, particularly regarding finances or relationships. Although it’s lonely at the top, the thought of becoming buddies with direct reports or team members makes a bright red “Danger!” sign flash in your consciousness.

It’s often difficult to justify taking time to meet your personal needs. Your health will suffer if you don’t establish and practice self-care. Sometimes you need to withdraw from the world and explore your emotions in ways that feel safe to you without fearing that other people will take advantage of you. Taking thoughtful action can help you transform feelings like despair.

A Proven System can Ensure Your Success and Well-Being

I’ve worked with strong, self-directed leaders whose “natural leadership hardwiring” sometimes clashes with the needs and preferences of their direct reports and team members. After a few years of testing various approaches, my leadership and executive clients gained lasting, positive results from the following holistic approach.

  • Explore the effects of your strong personality on personality types that recoil from your direct communication and leadership style. This is critical because the people who shut down when they think you’re being critical or insensitive are essential to your success.
  • Discover the personal leadership style that will best serve you when you lead people who are indecisive, less perfectionistic, timid, indirect, impractical, less capable or merely hardwired to travel through life at a slower pace. How can you be authoritative and simultaneously support and empower your team? How can you avoid or easily resolve conflicts?
  • Decide how you want to ensure that you’ll be true to yourself and also deliver honest, direct feedback without unconsciously intimidating or offending other people, especially personnel who find your personality style abrasive. How can you temper any need to “be right” with the need to hear from your team?
  • Explore how to gain superior results when you stop driving other people as hard as you drive yourself.
  • Determine when it will be best to hire a project manager who can insulate you to an appropriate degree.
  • Design ways you’ll remember that rushing into battle is attractive to you but frightening to many other personality types. This will help you lead a united team instead of a fractured unit. Problem solving will become faster and easier.
  • Discover how to avoid lapsing into behaviors like overeating, withdrawing, being out of touch with your feelings or spiraling into despair when the world doesn’t reward your unique talents at the pace you want. Decide when and with whom it’s safe to confide your weaknesses and ask for constructive feedback about your strategies.
  • Design new ways of responding to people who just don’t get it. Examples:
    • People who don’t understand how important it is for you to state your opinion when you disagree or you have a pressing concern. Discover why your entire team (including you) will function better when you stand firm about your principles while you regulate the tone of your self-expression.
    • People-pleasers. Because these individuals crave a peaceful work environment, they may seem to “wimp out” and sacrifice their principles to appease other people. Fact check: They are a critical part of all healthy organizations. When you discover their true motives and needs, they are more likely to contribute in truly helpful ways.
    • People who don’t realize the importance of playing to win. It’s easy for you to think these individuals are too cautious or unnecessarily compromise. Although this may be true, it will help you grow as a leader to discover proven ways to either discern their hidden value or be certain it’s time to peacefully part ways.
  • Explore new negotiation skills that will best serve you in the long term. Practice the fine art of determining when to bend and when to hold on tightly to your point of view and objectives.
  • Design your plan for maintaining your highest values and leading most effectively.
  • Balance your personal and professional vision and mission.
  • Explore easier, proven ways to boost employee engagement.
  • Decide how you want to coach your employees and when it’s important to hire an outside coach because you’re too emotionally invested in a certain outcome.
  • Design a personalized time management system that honors your personality, needs and highest priorities. How can you avoid any tendency to overcommit and thereby achieve even more and greater things?

Discover How to Balance Your Strong Leadership Personality with Your Team’s Needs

The validated system I’m recommending to you will require some internal and external changes. I’m eager to help you make your learning curve easier and faster. Just complete a short application form here so I can contact you for a complimentary 20-minute consultation. If we decide we’re a good fit as client and coach, we’ll discuss a coaching agreement.

Once you discover proven leadership tools, you’ll be able to lead with your strengths instead of having your leadership style cause problems for you and your team members. Use Leadership Coaching to take the shortcuts you need in order to gain the trust and follow-through of winning teams that include people with many diverse personalities.

© 2019 Doris Helge, Ph.D. as interviewed on “The Today Show,” CNN and NPR. Certified Master Leadership and Executive Coach Doris Helge is author of bestselling books, including “Joy on the Job,” Doris has helped hundreds of leaders like you meet every challenge you’re facing. Click here now to sign up for your complimentary Leadership Coaching Consultation.

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About the Author

Doris Helge

© 2019 Doris Helge, Ph.D. at Doris Helge, Ph.D., MCC is a Certified Master Executive Leadership Coach and author of bestselling books, including “Joy on the Job.” Click here now to sign up for your complimentary Leadership Coaching Consultation.

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