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Eight Minutes to Identify Your New Leadership Style

One of the key challenges for busy senior leaders is to find the time to pause, reflect and question their current behaviors and leadership style. This can be problematic, because in Marshall Goldsmith’s immortal words, your current leadership style may have got you to where you are now, but “what got you’re here, won’t get you there”.

There are a host of frameworks which can be helpful in a leader’s development here, but despite their power many of these were created a number of years ago. In this article we will briefly outline two of these frameworks before sharing a more contemporary, intuitive approach, we’ve designed which in as little as 8 minutes may help you make significant progress.

6-Leadership Styles

6-Leadership Styles was a framework popularised by Daniel Goleman. His research identified 6 different leadership styles, as well as the insight that most leaders are biased to only use a couple of styles. However, the complex world of leadership now requires leaders who are able to flex between more, and perhaps all the styles. Through Visionary, Democratic, Coaching, Affiliative, Command-and-control to Pacesetting. No one mode is right. We need to match the mode to the leadership challenge we are facing. As a leader which are your preferred styles? Would you be more effective if you had a greater range?

Preacher, Prosecutor, Politician & Pragmatist

Another popular framework adapted from the organizational psychologist Adam Grant identifies 4 different modes a leader can switch between: preacher, prosecutor, politician, and pragmatist. Again, being situationally adaptive is the key. Is there a mode you over or under-utilise here?

8-Minute New Leadership Identity Exercise

In coaching one of the ways I sometimes explore how a leader can evolve their identity is with a simple 8-question exercise. For fun we sometimes we agree to answer each of the questions in a single minute. If a leader favours more reflection they may spend considerably longer on their answers.

I’ve shared the questions in table form below, with indicative answers in the “new leadership identity” section for you for you to delete, edit and adapt.

Perhaps you would like to spend one minute answering each of the eight questions in turn? Feel free to share your answers – or use this just as a personal exercise you keep to yourself. This simple reflection can be a first step to more consciously creating your future leadership style.

 Your current leadership identityYour new leadership identity 
What are my Strengths? – Truly visionary- Deeply influential at a Group Board level- Motivating and empowering – Creating space for groundbreaking thinking (personally and organisationally) 
What are my Behaviours? – See the bigger picture, inspire others to be activists – Clear headed- Joining the dots others can’t connect (systems thinking)  
What am I’m Fascinated by? – Uncovering the connections in the organisational system, market and politics others don’t understand – How to inspire and build accountability in others – Navigating politics with great emotional regulation 
What are My Values? – Integrity- Authenticity- Thinking systemically- Beyond personal ego 
What do I feel? – I am leaving a legacy which is bigger than this business – Very present, but also can toggle out to see the altitude or macro perspective – I am enjoying the experience  
How do I think?  – Total system view: help the total business thrive, within the broadest ecosystem of customers and stakeholders 
What is my purpose? – Leave a bigger meaningful legacy 
Image / mantra to connect with new identity – “I am an inspirational leader, who thinks systemically and who is enjoying leaving a truly valuable legacy”. – Visionary, inspirational, systemic leadership – Servant leader? Image: Symphony orchestra conductor – Systemic leader 

About Aziz Corporate

Aziz was founded over 40 years ago by Khalid Aziz, a media pioneer of his day who at 21 became the youngest ever appointed BBC producer.

About Matt Richards

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