What Type of Manager Do You Want to Be?

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Entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa said, “A key to achieving success is to assemble a strong and stable management team.” Whether you are new to management or you are looking to hone your leadership skills, you recognize that your actions can play an important role in the performance of the business you work for.

There are different styles of leadership, and each one comes with benefits and drawbacks.


Image via Flickr by The Open University (OU)

Writing for the Small Business Chronicle, Kevin Johnson of Demand Media called this type of leader an “affiliative leader.” An affiliative leader:

  • Pays attention to team members’ emotions
  • Strives to find ways to make sure everyone is satisfied with their role
  • Offers one-on-one training if necessary
  • Finds ways to make mundane tasks more interesting

One study cited on Fast Company’s website found that happy employees may be 12 percent more productive than unhappy employees. Hence, this nurturing approach to management may be able to boost team performance.

The downside to being nurturing is that if you focus too much on making your team happy, you may hesitate to take disciplinary action when it is necessary.


Writing for the Huffington Post, one expert calls the authoritative style “directive” and “coercive.” This type of leader provides no-nonsense direction and carefully observes what employees do. Discipline and threats are prominent in this management style.

This style of leadership may be effective in crisis situations when there is no time for hesitation or for coddling team members’ feelings. However, it could also alienate team members and hinder open communication.


A writer for Entrepreneur calls this type of leader an “in charge” person. That is, someone who has clear goals in mind for the team and doesn’t hesitate to direct others. The focus is often on measurable achievements.

A visionary manager can:

  • Guide a team forward by analyzing numbers and identifying weak spots in performance.
  • Can garner respect from his or her team, according to the abovementioned Huffington Post article.

The same article mentions, however, that this style of leadership may not be effective when some team members are in need of personal development and guidance.

Example Setting

Writing for Inc., Brent Gleeson, CMO of Internet Marketing, Inc., says that one of the best ways to lead by example is to “get your hands dirty.” Know some of the technical details of what your team members are doing, and don’t shy away from doing seemingly menial tasks if there is no one else available to complete them.

Leading by example may help you seem more approachable and more human to your team members, thus fostering a positive spirit. However, it may benefit you to be cautious not to get so wrapped up in participating in team tasks that you lose sight of the bigger picture.

Choosing Your Management Style

Profiles International, a company that provides talent management services, has a post on its website with the title, “Flexibility and Adaptability: Critical Traits of Effective Managers.” Indeed, as you learn how to manage others, you may find that switching between management styles in different situations is key for success in the workplace.

By studying and trying out different management techniques, you may be able to find a leadership style that both fits your personality and helps you guide your team toward its goals.