As a University Grad Student at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, I was taught how to lead and manage in a crisis. The hardest part of this learning experience was having to contend with an accident or injury of some sort in remote locations.
We had to be ready and prepared for everything.
One of the things that my professor taught me is that whenever we came across an incident, the first thing to do was stop the thought process and analyze the situation.
COVID-19 has devastated the business world as we know it. That being said, it is a perfect time to stop and figure out which leadership style to adapt next to move forward. Here are four different styles of leadership.
- Autocratic Leadership: History has proved to us that authoritarian leaders are dictators. Also, under dictatorial leadership behavior, all decision-making powers are concentrated on the leader. They do not consider any thoughts from juniors and do not listen to any initiative or suggestions. It is useful as it permits quick decision-making since only one individual needs to choose for the whole group. This individual keeps judgments to himself/herself until he/she feels the rest of the group needs to know what they are. Autocratic leaders don’t trust anyone. Is this what you need during a Pandemic? Maybe not.
- Bureaucratic Leadership: A bureaucratic leader follows the dictates of the school administration or corporate training hierarchy with no questions and no modification. Lesson plans and workshop materials are developed following an acceptable institutional practice. If the powers feel one conference call per day is sanctioned, the bureaucratic leader will do no more and no less. Pre-Pandemic, the corporates followed this leadership style. Will this style work in the crisis? I guess not.
- Democratic Leadership: Good old Democracy. Although my Russian neighbors won’t agree, in theory, this is the leadership style deemed as the one that best fosters employee’s involvement. The underlying assumption is that coworkers themselves, not just the leader, are responsible for managing the office. In practice, many leaders request input from employees but maintain terminal responsibility for decision making for themselves. Even in the hands of a skilled manager, it takes time to assemble feedback and find something resembling a group consensus. Does this style sound almost partisan? Does this lead to groups in the office? Maybe.
- Transformational Leadership: As the name implies, transformational leaders are all about change. Through a strong belief in a vision of future possibilities, transformational leaders strive to change their offices’ way of learning, thinking and expectations for the future. It requires a high degree of energy and enthusiasm on the part of the contagious leader. Coworkers see the power of the vision and willingly follow the leader towards its fulfilment.
What is the style that you are willing to adapt to?