Which six leadership styles do you use?
Consultants Hay Group have released a study that sought to determine which of six leadership styles (directive, visionary, affiliative, participative, pacesetting and coaching) are most effective.
Instead of using laboratory animals, the study involved asking associates in a “top global law firm” about the effectiveness of certain firm partners (one hopes it was anonymous). In addition, Hay looked at such metrics as revenue, client satisfaction and substantive legal skills.
Not surprisingly, the associates preferred leadership that emphasized coaching to edicts from a driven “pacesetter.” A helpful diagram is provided showing the study results.
According to the study summary:
The outstanding lawyers also used styles that research has shown are more effective in driving performance over time. They were more visionary, providing their teams much needed perspective and context while reinforcing the firmâ€™s values. They were also twice as participative, engaging associates and peers in critical discussions and decisions. And they were effective coaches, providing long-term development and mentoring.
â€œThe best partners were far less likely than their peers to be pacesetters — perfectionists who set unattainable goals, micromanage, and have a hard time letting go of tasks that would be better handled by associates…â€
I think I worked for a pacesetter once, but that’s not what I called him at the time.
For more information and help on developing the right mix of leadership skills, contact Hay.
Harvard Working Knowledge examines a related issue recently–how to help “superstars” work in a team environment and not create chaos in the process.
By the way, what’s the difference between law firm associates and laboratory animals? The animals get regular meals and exercise…