Sunday, 28 April 2013

Not Your Style to Be Directive? Try an Authoritative Approach

For leaders who struggle with being more directive of staff and achieving deadlines (and yes, this does happen at very senior levels in organisations), two readings may be of help. Leadership That Gets Results (Goleman), and Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? (Goffee & Jones). Goleman, the grandfather of Emotional Intelligence outlines 4 leadership styles that get results, and argues for the use of them situationally. In particular for those struggling with targets, the Authoritative style can be quite useful.

To successfully utilise an Authoritative style requires a clear Vision of what you want to achieve and the confidence in your vision and in yourself to deliver the message to your team. Introverted Thinkers quite often enjoy working with the Vision, but must find the means to engage their audience with it. Goleman’s Authoritative leadership style message of “come with me” to staff can be hugely motivating. Perhaps then it is only down to the confidence to be Authoritative?

The Authoritative style, while effective in many situations, is not to be used to the exclusion of the other styles—Affiliative, Democratic, and Coaching. This is Situational Leadership. That is, choosing the appropriate style to fit the situation.


Victoria Hall, Executive Coach
Founder of Talent Futures