To be honest, I’m not into reading books as I find them intimidating and sometimes boring. I know you would react with the word “boring” here hahaha but my personality is I’m into short reading materials such as articles, blogs, and news. I want to get the information straight in a short time. I know some books have many pages because they provide a lot of examples and describe so much and that bores me; anyway, that’s not what this blog is about.
This blog is about what I read from the Headway app, this app summarizes the book and grabs what’s important and this is what I like! One of the books I read was Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The book tells different leadership styles that American presidents showcased during their time as a leader and during those events in America that tested their leadership.
Here are the leadership styles she mentioned :
- Transformational leadership: from the word transform, this leadership style will push things aggressively to turn the leaf and move to a new chapter. This leadership skill will eradicate activities, policies, and other things that hinder the progress of the group or country. Personally, transformation leadership is a very difficult style as it requires negotiations and sometimes tough skin. Let’s be real, transformation means change, though change is constant but we all know too that it always has collateral.
- Transactional leadership: this style is very common to see in a progressing or even in a plateau state of leading. In the book it says “appeal to the pressing needs of the populace and channel them into achieving a national goal” which means it is looking after everyone’s needs, it’s like the butter or something that smoothes the harshness or aggressiveness of the transformation the leader is doing. In corporate scenarios, this is the reward and recognition, the promotion, the merit increase, the perks, wellness, and the work-life balance that leaders are promoting to keep members healthy and happy. In governance, this leadership style highlights the politician especially if he or she has plans to stay in that position or move and be elected to another higher position.
- Crisis management: I think it’s very rare that every leader that they will never be in a situation where they will not be tested and everything is smooth sailing for the whole term also even for all of us whether leading or not, we face crises in life. It’s just that if you’re a leader it’s heavier on your part since you’ll carry the group, organization, or nation if you are a government official. Crisis management, just like transformational leadership is also very difficult for me, well actually if I’m going to rate it this is the most difficult over transformational leadership. Managing the crisis has multiple entrants, you have your opposition, there are time constraints, sometimes life is at stake, budget constraints, and your public relations can be in danger too… There’s so much to lose during a crisis and as a leader, you need to balance them all or if necessary let go of some things. This requires not just thick skin but also a thick heart.
- Turnaround leadership: during or after the crisis, usually everyone seems to lose hope especially if the scenario is heading south. Personally, part of the job of every leader is to cheer, to bring a spark to the members, and to motivate them back. But turnaround leadership is more than that, it’s like transformation leadership but with a twist or in a creative way. Thinking outside of the box is one of the dominating skills along with being adaptive to changes.
- Visionary leadership: for me, every leader must have a vision. It’s not enough that you will just answer the present needs but also must be working towards a better future for your group, organization, or society. This is where your legacy as a leader lies.
If I’m going to sort these 5 styles what should be the first thing to do? Visionary leadership skill is the number one, a leader must have a vision of where he and his herd is going, next is transformational as it requires some changes and implementation for the vision to realize. Next is transactional, you need to keep them motivated and healthy in all aspects so that you are all still there when you reach your destination or when the vision is achieved. Then crisis management, sailing towards your goal or vision will not be easy, many storms, challenges, ups, and downs will strike but as a leader, you need to be able to carry them. Then next is the turnaround leadership style, sometimes crises will force us to shift gears or reroute and we must be able to immediately adapt to that change and bring them too to adapt as well, you need creativity to bring them as everyone is different.
These styles should be in all of us, I believe that we are all leaders. The 5 styles Doris mentioned should be harnessed especially by those that are taking the path of leading a herd. You don’t need to be a president to have all these as they are applicable in all scenarios and types of leaders. Maybe some of these styles might be necessary for the moment as it is highly needed but all of these styles should be considered if you are a leader.