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Leadership Styles: What’s Right for You?

Posted August 14, 2013 by Bobbie LaPorte in On the Ladder

It seems like every other day there is a new book, article or blog post on the latest “leadership” trend – but how do you adopt a style that is authentic and works for you? Regardless of where you are in your career, it is never to early or too late to develop your leadership style.

Here are three tips to get your started:

  • START WITH YOUR VALUES.  Knowing your values is foundational to everything you do in managing and advancing your career: how you approach your work, how you treat others and how you role-model behavior for your team are all based on your core values. There are many assessments on-line to help you identify your values, but a few to consider are things like: Achievement; Challenge; Creativity; Helping Others; Integrity and Recognition. Take time to inventory your top 6-8 values, and also see how they are aligned with your company’s values.
  • WHO ARE YOUR ROLE-MODELS? Observe the women in your company and in other settings around you whom you admire. What is it about their style that appeals to you? Why would you follow them? What personal attributes do they consistently exhibit that you would like to emulate? Following the example of leaders whom you respect and admire can help to inform and define your leadership style.
  •  ASK FOR ADVICE. Take the time to sit down with one of your mentors or advisers and ask them how they have approached developing their leadership style. What has been most helpful to them? What have they learned about leadership? What does it take to be a successful leader, and what would they suggest you focus on to build your leadership style?

Remember: While there are some fundamental, tried and true practices that have stood the test of time for all successful leaders, authentic leadership is about self-awareness and what works for you – and not what anyone else thinks you should be. Get started today in defining and developing your leadership style and you will become a more confident and effective leader.

About the Author

Bobbie LaPorte

Bobbie LaPorte, is Founder and Principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. RAL & Associates produces the “When She Speaks” – Women in Leadership Series in San Francisco, sponsored by blue chip Bay Area companies. Before founding RAL & Associates, Bobbie served in GM, COO and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM, GE and United Healthcare, as well as two healthcare technology start-ups. A certified career coach, she has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Harvard. She is a nationally-recognized expert on the powerful relationship between physical fitness and career success, and an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport coach. Bobbie is currently training for her fifth Ironman triathlon. When she is not coaching executives or Ironman triathletes she proudly serves on a number of Bay Area non-profit boards and happily rescues senior Golden Retriever dogs