Why are so many people focused on leadership style when they should be focused on leadership results?

A quick review of Amazon’s management book store, for example, highlights books on ‘human-centred leadership’ (What, as opposed to fish-centred leadership?), ‘conscious leadership’, ‘strengths-based leadership’, ‘uplifting leadership’, and even the top 100 ways to become a great leader (if you really want to confuse someone, then offering 100 best ways is probably a good way to go about it!). It’s little wonder that so many people are confused about what leadership is all about.

In reality, there is no one best way to become an effective leader: they come in all shapes and sizes. I’ve known some great business leaders who were natural communicators and those who would be reluctant to address a crowd of more than three people. I’ve known effective leaders who were brilliantly insightful strategists with an MBA from the best business schools, and others who eschewed the need for detailed strategy development. And I’ve known some truly impressive leaders who want to get close to their teams and others who couldn’t care less about team bonding and who are only interested in getting the job done.

That said, whichever style you choose to lead your organisation, there are three critical tasks you must deliver. How you achieve these tasks is up to you, and should reflect your own strengths, preferences and personality. But if you want to build a successful, thriving organisation, then you need to focus on the following:

  1. Establish a compelling future. Do you know where your business is going to, and how it will succeed in the future? Does that future have both a sound, rational basis for people to support it, as well as generating emotional excitement for your teams?
  2. Build genuine organisational commitment. Is everyone in your organisation focused on the same overall goals? Does everyone feel involved in the delivery of these results, so that they are willing to go the extra mile to deliver?
  3. Ensure effective delivery. Are delivery accountabilities clear and are your people up for – and up to – the job? Do you have effective ways of managing results, and have you found ways to deliver new ideas and innovations faster than your competitors?

Don’t look to develop a supposedly ideal leadership style, or to become the ‘perfect’ leader. Instead, look to deliver the best leadership results you possibly can. By focusing on these three critical tasks you may just find that you are finally able to deliver a real transformation of your organisation’s results.

© Stuart Cross 2015. All rights reserved.