Ep #24: How to Identify Your Own Unique Leadership Style
Every leader is unique. We all have different life experiences. We each hold a different value system. We were all drawn into leadership for different reasons. Yet when it comes to identifying your leadership style as a corporate manager, the tendency is to want to look like everyone else. But if you are a leader that really wants your work to matter, it's important to do just the opposite.
I am sharing with you a process that I created to help managers identify your own unique leadership style. By the end of this episode you will have all the tools you need to identify this style for yourself. You will hear actual examples from assessments I have conducted over the years and you will have an understanding of how to share your unique style with other leaders at your organization.
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What You'll Learn:
- Why every leader has a unique leadership style inherent only to them
- How identifying your leadership style is the key to staying motivated when you get bogged down by the day-to-day
- The exact process I use in my leadership style assessments
- Over a dozen REAL results from my assessments
- Why owning your uniqueness is actually a good thing and the most direct route to getting the recognition you deserve
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
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- Apply for your free career strategy session at stacymayer.com/apply.
Leadership is a learned skill. Welcome to episode number 24. In today's episode, I'm going to show you how you can begin to define your own personal, unique leadership style. Listen on.
Welcome to maximize your career with Stacy, Mayer. A podcast about achieving your career goals while also being yourself.
Hello. Hi there, friends. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, stacy mayer. Wow. What a week we have been having. I am recording this episode at the beginning of the month of June 20/20, and we are three months in to the coveted 19 quarantine. I've been sheltering in place since around March 10th. And the past couple of weeks, the United States has experienced.
Well, it's not new information, but there's been a lot of racial injustice, a lot of police brutality. And people are stepping up and speaking up in a way that is sharing their voice.
They're saying black lives matter and they're not going to take it anymore.
And this is an amazing time in a unique time for all people to come together.
And it can also be a very confusing time for us as leaders to know how to lead our teams, how to be sensitive to the situations at hand while challenging ourselves, quite frankly, to do better, to show up as better versions of ourselves, to add openly admit our mistakes and to try harder and to continue trying harder and harder.
I worked for a women's leadership organization in the heart of the #Metoo movement, so several, several years ago. And so this was a huge topic of conversation because I was meeting with women on a regular basis and talking about leadership and the challenges that they face in corporations. And one of the women shared a story with us at the time. She was actually one of my coaching clients and she said that she had a conversation with her boss that was very unexpected. So he is an older white gentleman that called her into his office and they never really speak on a personal or authentic way. And he called her into his office and he asked her point blank, look, I don't know what to say about anything, but I just want you to know that if I am doing anything at all that makes you feel uncomfortable or does it make you feel like your voice is being heard? I have an open door policy and I want you to tell me. He actually asked her about her experiences as a leader. Being a woman in particular. And she shared with him some of the injustice that she had experienced throughout her career. She actually was able to, because of that forum, share with him a couple of situations where he could have been more inclusive and brought her into the conversation and let her speak up more. And it just really opened up the door for them to have an open dialogue.
About injustice. And I think that as leaders, if we are not sure what to do and how to act, this is how I always I always coach my clients. This is nothing different. Is acts like people. Be honest. Because here's the facts.
There are less men and women of color in senior level leadership positions. In fact, each year McKinsey and Company does a survey called Women in the Workplace. And in 2000 19, he listened to these statistics. So in 2019, the average. And this is from all the way starting at senior managers. So that's basically what I consider to be senior level leadership positions from senior manager all the way up to the C suite. The average of white men is about 57 percent. And then men of color is the average is 11 percent at the senior level leadership position. And then for women of color, the average is only six percent of women of color hold senior level leadership positions. And then white women, the average is actually considerably higher at twenty three percent. So both men of color and women of color hold fewer senior level leadership positions. And what they're talking about in this survey, they're defining men and women of color as many different racial ethnicities. Black, Latina, Asian, American Indian, Alaskan, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders, or even mixed race.
So you can imagine that the black women and the black men in senior level leadership positions is even lower. So I'm just pointing out this to you so that you obviously you might be aware of it just in what you see every day. But this is why it's even more important that you start a dialogue, that you create an open door policy for yourself and you actually take the time to reach out to the people who are working for you and ask them, how can I do better?
How can I attract more senior leaders of color into our organization? Because more diversity at the top means good business. And it's the right thing to do. So that's all I will say about this for now.
Now, I'm going to get into the episode of today. So today we're going to be talking about your leadership style and how defining your leadership style is extremely important and how this is something that will carry with you at all stages of your career. So in general, your leadership style doesn't actually change from the time that you started out as a leader. Like maybe even when you were 12 years old and you were in Cub Scouts all the way until you got your first people management gig or even at the C Suite level, your leadership style is something that might stay the same with you throughout your entire career or your life span of being a leader. So first of all, let me just explain to you how I define leadership style and why I think that it's important to recognize it as something that is unique to you and is different than your personality assessment or your strengths or your values. It's actually a combination of all of the above. It's what you believe in as a leader. It's what you respect in other people. It's what you admire in other people. It's what you aspire to do. It is, in fact, rooted in your values system because it's something that you care deeply about. And it's similar to string's in that it's something that you can really excel at. It's something that makes too great. It's actually the why behind why you are a leader. So every year I give a series of leadership style assessments.
This is something that I actually created as part of my own coaching regimen, something that I offer both my clients. But then I also offer them free to my community. So if you were not in my community, then you can sign up at Stacie Mayor dot com slash email s-t ac why am AYP R dot com slash email. And make sure that you're on my email list because I send out regular free value offers. And one of those is I'll do free leadership style assessments, usually two different times throughout the year. So I've done probably over 50 of these leadership style assessments. And today I'm going to be sharing with you the process that I go through with clients to really uncover what their leadership style is and actually give you case studies like actual examples of what some people's leadership style is. Now, here are three reasons why understanding what your leadership style is is so important. Number one, it helps keep you motivated. So you might be finding yourself at certain times throughout your career, feeling less than an inspired feeling, less than recognized, feeling less than supported by your team, feeling like you have too much work to do. You might be questioning, why do I put in so much time and effort with so little reward? Understanding your leadership style and being able to articulate your hard why for yourself, why it is so important for you to be a leader is so important in getting you back out of the funk.
So that's the number one and really, frankly, the biggest reason that it's so important to understand your leadership style. The second reason is that it's important to be able to articulate this style to others. So one of the things that I tell all of my clients I offer include leadership assessments in my coaching programs, all of my coaching programs, Myers, Briggs strengths, finder, emotional intelligence. I really believe in these types of assessments. But one of the things that it does is it gives you concrete language to be able to speak about what it is that you do really, really well. And when you can articulate that both to yourself and to other people, it helps them better be able to communicate with you. It helps you be able to better communicate with them. And it also lets you see where some of your blind spots might be. So in terms of leadership style and why that stands out, instead of just like your personality assessment is because it has that values component, too. So it's very motivating. So if you find yourself in a situation where you're being very emotionally triggered by a certain employee or somebody else, maybe your boss or even one of the members of the leadership team in your organization, it could be because they have a very different style of leadership that you're just not accustomed to. It's not your thing. It's not the way that you lead. So you don't necessarily respect them as a leader. That doesn't. On the other hand, mean that they're a bad leader unless they have really horrible emotional intelligence, in which case you can be flawed and be an actual destructive and bad leader.
But sometimes we just don't get along with people. That doesn't mean that they're bad leaders. We just don't gel with them. They're just not our style of leader. And so the way that you can know that is by understanding yourself and your own leadership style. And the third way is once you're able to articulate it to other people, then you can figure out where the best matches are for you. So you'll be able to say yes to certain projects. No to certain projects, you're going to be able to ask for more responsibility. And you can do it in a way that's just really authentic and genuine to what it is that you actually care about in the organization. Now, some of the ways that I get to understand what your particular leadership style is, is by asking questions about people that you really admire. So the first thing that I want you to do for yourself is to think about your best boss, really think about that person that you admire as a leader. I want you to write down all of their qualities. Why do you admire that in them? What is it about that person? What did they bring out in you as one of their employees? So really think about all the details of their leadership style. And then I want you to think about your own self.
Bring it back to yourself and ask yourself, OK, what is it that I am really great at? And I want you to think of a very, very specific time in your life when you actually had a large amount of success as a leader. And think about what are those? What was it that was happening? Why did I feel successful? What was it that I got recognized for? What was it that I was able to actually accomplish as a leader? Was it a team effort? Was it because I was so smart? Was it because I was so respected? So really thinking about what are those elements? And then I want you to flip all of that and do just the opposite. So I want you to think about your worst boss, the person that you just really didn't get along with. What were the qualities that your worst boss had? Think about that. Write it all down. Really? Like process. OK, what is the opposite of that? And that's going to give you a lot of clues. It's going to show you what you want to emulate as a leader, like what you actually see as being important. And then the fourth piece is think of a time that you weren't successful as a leader. Why was that? Think of a real story. Just pick one in particular problem or time when you weren't able to have success as a leader. What was it that was happening? Why did you feel blocked? Was it because other people were affecting you? Was it because you didn't feel like your voice was heard? Was it because you didn't like the project that you were working on? All of these things are going to give you clues into what actually matters to you as a leader.
Hence, creating your leadership style. Now we're going to get into the good stuff. I'm going to share with you actual results from my leadership style assessments. And as you're listening to these, I want you to identify for yourself what qualities you think that you really emulate as a leader already, not what you want or what you hope or what you wish you could aspire to be. But what type of leader are you today without changing anything? What matters to you? What resonates with you when I'm giving you these examples? What gets you excited? What says, oh, yeah, that's me. Oh, you know what? That's my boss. OK, so start identifying for yourself. Which of these leadership styles are most like you and most like the people around you. Now, the first leadership style men to share with you. And these are actual people that I spoke with and did the leadership style assessment with them is humble leader, the leader of the people willing to get in. Get their hands dirty to know the actual issues. Willing to not have all the answers. Willing to ask questions. Willing to listen more. Really values working as a team and not being the sole leader on that particular project.
Another example of leadership is the visionary leader. Hands off on the actual steps and the process that it will take to get there, but willing to create the vision for her team, using opportunities to learn and grow, to think bigger. Believing in the power of people and possibility and what comes next. That's a visionary leader. The sensitive leader of others. Somebody who's extremely well rounded, that can pick up, that's intuitive, can pick up on other people's needs, can see things before their actual problems, understands the energy of the room, really knows how to capture that and speak upfront. How to call out the elephant in the room. The results driven leader. Somebody who is. Very invested in the return on investment has a super linear focus. How are we going to do the steps in this process?
How are we going to get there? Wants to know? Is this actually going to work? Open communication gathers information, making sure that he has a pulse on every step of the way, making sure that he knows every single thing that is happening. Always ties whatever he is working on. Back into the bottom line, the high performance leader, the person that's willing to make tough decisions, to get dirty, to work really, really hard, but to always think big, picture the person that knows how to take care of their health and to support themselves to ask for what they need. The impactful leader, the person that's super focused on how is this impacting the people on the team? How is how is are my actions impacting the organization, the responsible leader, the person that never lets the ball drop, the person that has respect and collaboration, that is always focused on the bottom line and make sure that she keeps her boss up to date every single step of the way. If you ask her to do something, it is 150 percent going to get done. She is extremely resourceful. She knows how to work hard. The collaborative leader, the person that is not worried about getting credit, the person that wants to make sure that it's a group effort, the self made leader, the person who all odds were stacked against them that they made their way.
It's the person that that came to be into leadership from the mailroom, not because of their MBA, but because of their values, because they strive for more, because they always push themselves to do better. The transparent leader, the person that wants to be a constant role model for others. The person that mentors other people that wants to make sure that that they're always showing up in a true and authentic way. And lastly, the broad view leader, the person that is able to see perspective, to think in a bigger way, to notice problems that other people would notice, the person who's willing to ask for feedback because they are able to look at the bigger picture and not get caught up in the particular situation. Now, you might have been listening to all of these qualities and saying, well, is aren't these just the signs of good leadership? And actually, they are. They're all really incredible leadership qualities. Every single one of them. But you'll notice if you go back through this episode and really listen, is that there's subtle differences to each and every one. It is so important to understand that subtlety. We get mixed up a lot in what we're supposed to be doing, what we think a good leader looks like.
So this episode is a chance for you to get super honest with yourself at its core. What is it that matters most to you about leadership? What is going to drive you and what is going to motivate you as you continue to rise in your corporate career? This is so important because as we continue to rise, as we get closer and closer to the top, the lonelier it gets. And the only person that you're left with is yourself. And if you don't love yourself and understand everything that motivates you and inspires you and brings out joy in you, then it's going to be really difficult to be happy at the end of the day. And it's gonna be even harder to push yourself to grow and to continue learning and continue investing in your professional development. So I promise you, if you get super clear on your leadership style, if you learn how to start communicating that with others and you start to see what other people's leadership styles are, then you will have more enjoyment. You will feel more passionate at your job, and you will be able to make the impact that you really want to be making at your organization.
Thank you so much for listening and have a wonderful day. Bye. Before you go, I want to share with you a very special opportunity to work with me personally as one of my private coaching clients. My coaching program helps talented directors get promoted. My methodology takes talented professionals from underappreciated, under recognized and underpaid to respected rising star. So if you're ready to take your career to the next level, then I invite you to hop on the phone with me for a free discovery call. On this 50 minute call, we will get crystal clear on exactly what is holding you back from success. We will carve a path out so you can see what you need to do differently. And then I will tell you, if my one on one coaching program is a good fit for you. It's risk free. Sign up at Stacie Mer dot com slash apply. That's STACYMAYER. dot com slash. Apply.
About Your Host
Hi, I’m Stacy Mayer, a Leadership Coach for emerging executives who are ready to take their career to the next level or seeking more fulfillment in their current organizational roles.
I help corporate managers reposition themselves to advance their careers, build confidence in their ability to solve problems in real-time, and step into their higher leadership potential so they can make a bigger impact in their organizations.
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