Build On Your Natural Leadership Style

How well do you really know yourself and your leadership style?

Are you a coercive, authoritative, nurturing, visionary, transformational or other type of leader?

Whatever your leadership style, it is uniquely yours and drawn from your values, beliefs, personality and intrinsic qualities.

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This article isn’t about nature or nurture, whether leaders are born or made.  That is for a future week.  More, it is the key leadership qualities that you are most comfortable with and that feel right to you.  An authentic leader is one who has a deep level of self-awareness, enabling them to better leverage their natural abilities and work on the blind spots.

If you have to pretend to be someone you are not and act in ways that are inconsistent with your beliefs and values, warning bells will ring.  Your staff look up to you for guidance, direction, inspiration and motivation, and can spot a phony a mile off.   However, recognising and building on what comes naturally will help you to be a more effective leader.

Here are four ways you can build on your natural leadership style:

Raise awareness of the things you are good at – it all starts by familiarising yourself with the things you excel at and then playing to these strengths as much as you can.  If you have trouble identifying them, ask trusted colleagues to draw up a list of what they consider to be your strong points.

Work on the weaknesses – putting yourself under the microscope will also bring to the fore the things you are not so hot at.  To handle the diverse challenges that come your way, you may have to adapt and develop styles that don’t come naturally.  Understanding your limitations and striving to plug the gaps is vital for self-growth. Why Leaders Should Love Negative Feedback

For example, you may be a stabilizer, a type of leader who puts systems into place that ensure everything is running smoothly.  However, when problems arise you may also need to be an innovator and have to think creatively to find solutions.  To do so, you could work on ways to help you think latterly such as with courses, books and thinking tools.

Alternatively, surround yourself with people who can supplement and complement your abilities.  This is not an abdication of your responsibilities, it is merely recognising that you may need help and doing what is best for the team.  Remember, your leadership style will not always be a perfect fit for every situation, so don’t chastise yourself.

Learn from the best in the business – study the leaders you admire to discover how they get results from leadership styles that matches their personalities.

Build by doing – the only way to really enhance your natural leadership abilities is by doing.  There is no substitute for getting your hands dirty so to speak.  Get involved in leading special projects or chairing companywide initiatives.  Observe those things that are working for you and learn from any mistakes.

Continual Learning

Becoming a successful leader doesn’t rely on putting on a mask or playing a role.  Neither is there one perfect leadership style that guarantees results.  There is however, natural leadership where you capitalise on the strengths and shore up the weaknesses.  Successful leaders know this isn’t a one-off exercise, but a continual learning experience throughout their careers.  Follow suit and tap into your innate abilities to become the leader you were born to be.


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