Updated for use in our Leading Through COVID series.
This is the fifth week in our six part series about leadership styles. We’ll be using the six Leadership Styles as defined by Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadershipand we’ll be exploring how each of those different leadership styles can be useful during this new abnormal. Each is rarely used alone and none of them should be used all the time. The goal is to develop your ability to use each style so that you can apply the right leadership style to each situation. Every week we will focus on a different style, helping you to understand the style itself and when and where it is needed. We’ve already covered Affiliative, Visionary, Pacesetting, and Democratic, this week we’ll focus on the Commanding Style.
The Commanding Leadership Style is all about control. Commanding leaders are forceful, direct, and tough. They are not afraid to make unpopular decisions and will take charge of any situation, even those that involve a lot of uncertainty, like this pandemic. Leaders with a Commanding Style are very focused on results, specifically the bottom line, and are willing to do anything to hit their goals. This means that they sometimes roll over people in the process. They tend to manage by intimidation and expect you to do what they ask, no matter what.
Command and control has been the go-to leadership style for a lot of people these days and it can be effective in the short-term. When a business is in a true crisis and/or needs a fast turnaround, sometimes the best option is to have someone that is willing to take over and make the tough calls needed. The Commanding style also works well when there is an actual emergency and you need a leader who can make quick decisions and deliver orders fast in order to save lives.
The Commanding Style can quickly cause tension though. Leaders who exhibit this style don’t stop to think about the impact that their decision are having on the people at the company. They are too focused on reaching their goal to care what happens to employees along the way. They also don’t take the time to connect employees to the bigger picture. They don’t care if you know why you’re doing something, they just want you to do it.
Though this is a style that can be helpful amid the chaos of a global pandemic, it should still be used sparingly. Make sure that you’re not using a command and control style at the expense of your employee’s morale.
Stay tuned for next week’s email where we’ll cover the Coaching style.
If you’re interested in learning what style of leader you are, take our Leadership Styles quiz here.