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Authentic Leadership Required!

Gone are the days of prescriptive leadership in businesses. No longer can you read a book and adopt someone else's program for how to be a leader. The current market demands authenticity from leaders and the job market is so saturated with well-qualified leaders, you may find it challenging to hire the right person. Also, does your hiring process help reflect the applicant's authentic behavior? Here is some insight into leadership styles which may help you define the best fit for your business.


Autocratic leaders spearhead decision making without team input. Meanwhile Bureaucratic leaders make decisions based on "the rules". Both are inflexible styles. Advantages: quick decision making, effective, good for routine/entry-level job oversight. Disadvantages: teammates can disengage easily, loss of freedom and creativity.


Decision making is shared amongst the team and input is sought from the leader. Advantages: inclusive, good for creative teams. Disadvantages: decision making takes more time, so less agile.


This leader looks at employment as a transaction or trade: work for dollars. Advantages: can work in well-defined roles where emotion and creativity aren't helpful. Disadvantages: can be disconnected and cold, often leads to higher turnover.


Leaders with this style are geared toward constant improvement (team, organization, self). They are often lead by vision and are effective at team engagement and accountability. Advantages: seen as authentic and inclusive. Disadvantages:


Want freedom as a teammate? Here ya go! This leader provides support and resources, but gives quite a bit of autonomy to team members. Advantages: can work with experienced teammates, empowers experienced workers. Disadvantages: lack of direction/shared vision, can result in lower productivity for teammates who need assistance.


This term was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1970. This concept has been in and out of business leadership training, but Simon Sinek brought it back to life in "Leaders Eat Last". The concepts are quite similar in that servant leaders focus on meeting team needs. It marries the idea of autonomy for teammates, support and resources from leaders, and high productivity. Advantages: talent retention, teammates feel they have the tools to do their jobs, collaboration. Disadvantages: can cause a lag in decision making depending on the leader.

This is a situation where there is no right/wrong choice, but rather a best fit. What type of leader are you as the business owner? Which leadership type compliments your nature well? What does your business necessitate? Which type of leader will best motivate your employees to perform at their best? These are important questions to ask prior to interviewing leaders and the appropriate characteristics should be reflected in your job description and filtered for in your hiring process.

If you need assistance reviewing your recruiting and interviewing processes to find the right applicants, we can help!

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