PostedFriday, December 22, 2017 at 9:47 AM
For a long time, many have perceived leadership as a mystical force possessed by few, affecting many. It was unclear whether it was just an intrinsic, genetically predefined set of skills… Alternatively, is it something that one can learn, adopt, modify, and use strategically? What makes a great leader, and more importantly, what do great leaders do? Finally, can someone teach and adopt leadership?
Goleman’s theory on leadership styles driven by emotional intelligence is the most notable one. Based on research by the consulting firm Hay/McBer on a large, random sample of 3,871 executives, Goleman (2002) describes six distinctive leadership styles: coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and coaching. He depicts them with great storytelling, giving a clear differentiation between each of them, emphasising that a combination of as many of them as possible would prove useful in managing any team, anywhere.
It is exciting to see how this range of styles exists in so many different settings – from large companies, departments, hospitals - to conducting an orchestra. However, not every style is suitable for every situation or team. Good leadership requires versatility, depending on the circumstances.
Here, I will not go into detailed descriptions. Rather, I will attempt to connect to your emotions so that you can feel what each leadership style actually means and feels like. Eventually, I hope that this could motivate you to read Goleman’s work on ‘Leadership that gets results’.
Let us take a look at the six leadership styles through the actions of some of the greatest orchestra conductors throughout history.