This 2-hour learning event last Thursday at the Shanghai Bankers Club received great feedback from the 20 representatives from our past and prospective cooperation partners. The workshop highlighted the difference between Autocratic, Democratic and Visionary leadership styles, the way each leader uses a combination of these styles, and how each of these styles correspond with the corporate culture of a company.
Participants discussed their company’s culture and learned about their leadership tendencies based on a quick leadership style survey.
We also brainstormed strengths and weaknesses of each style, and how a deeper knowledge of your own leadership profile can help you to choose the best course of action.
A lively and inspiring discussion addressed these questions:
QUESTION 1: If leaders create the culture of their organisation, how can a leader’s profile be significantly different from their company’s leadership culture?
CBC ANSWER There are many reasons for a leader being different from their organisation but two stand out. First, leaders are often promoted into management positions from a technical role. The skills and attitudes required in a project manager or engineering position can be different from the profile needed in a leadership position even within the same company. Secondly, we have encountered cases where the difference resulted from an external appointment, where the leader was hired based on his education and work experience, with insufficient attention paid to his team profile and leadership values and practices.
QUESTION 2: How can training or consulting help close the gap between the profile of the leader and the different leadership culture of the company?
CBC ANSWER Training and consulting can close this gap through three basic steps. Making the leader and their team aware that there is a gap can help. Leaders often ignore the problem is caused by different leadership styles; they simply question the team’s competency. Providing the leader with the strongest tools of the style where the leader needs the most improvement can also help. These can be delegation, feedback (either from leader to team or the other way round) or motivation techniques. Finally, we can help the leader apply these tools to the actual work situation.
QUESTION 3 Senior leaders often have a ready-made set of responses to most situations, based on their previous experience. Can leadership training change someone’s personality?
CBC ANSWER Leadership training or coaching is not supposed to change someone’s personality. We can, however, change behavior. As each style has its strengths and weaknesses, why not keep the strengths of our natural style, challenge ourselves to overcome our weaknesses, and look to pick up the strengths of other styles?
Our programmes provide participants with a set of new leadership tools (delegation, motivation, feedback methods, creative thinking and so forth), based on the problems they are experiencing.