Victor Leung
Victor Leung
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Leadership styles

July 03, 2021

What made you decide to leave your job? One of the most prevalent reasons for leaving is dissatisfaction with one's supervisor. Because I had a terrible supervisor, I became interested in leadership study.

It had been many years ago. I was excited to start working as a junior software engineer for an international IT consulting firm on the first day of my new job. Mr Lau was my team's director. With years of professional experience and a good educational degree in EMBA, his credentials were impressive. I was happy to join the team with great leadership because he seemed to be a kind person.

The following was what happened on my first day at work. "Hello, my name is Victor; today is my first day joining the team," I started when I first met with my colleague. "Welcome on board, Victor, and best of luck in your new post," my colleague said with a weird smile. You know, three managers recently resigned before you arrived, and everyone here is afraid of Mr Lau. You better be careful." I began to be worried. The warning startled me instantly.

There are six different sorts of leadership styles, according to my leadership studies. I covered the leadership style topic in my earlier chapter. The six groups are described in a book by Daniel Goleman, a well-known behavioural science journalist.

  1. Coercive,
  2. Authoritative,
  3. Affiliative,
  4. Democratic,
  5. Pacesetting
  6. Coaching leader.

Mr Lau's management style is a combination of the first two: coercive and authoritative.

I was sitting in a corner doing my job one day when I heard someone yelling from the pantry. I was taken aback. It was Mr Lau's voice. "WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?" he said, blaming my colleague Johnny. “The client had to postpone the project because your proposal was completely incorrect!" Then came a string of swear words, ranging from sex organs to inquiring about Johnny's mother's health.

He is a member of the first leadership type, that of coercive leaders who expect immediate obedience. The least effective decision-making method is top-down decision-making. His abilities can be useful at times. When Mr Lau became enraged about something, the problem was resolved faster than I had ever seen before. Out of dread, subordinates reacted quickly.

He is an authoritative leader who mobilizes followers in the second leadership style. This is the most effective style in most cases since it makes it plain how to function in a vast organization. This strategy, however, fails when the team members regard Mr Lau as arrogant.

People on the team resigned as a result of his leadership approaches. We attempted to alert more senior management, such as regional directors, to Mr Lau's concern, but to no avail. Because Mr Lau's supervisor had the same mannerisms, he treated Mr Lau in the same manner, yelling and blaming him without regard for his dignity.

Fortunately, the company's CEO stepped in and replaced Mr Lau with Mr So. Mr So led in an affiliative and democratic manner. Affiliative leaders, as the third leadership style, foster emotional relationships and concord. Because people like one another, it has a beneficial effect on communication. Mr So awarded and rewarded his employees with a lot of positive feedback.

He was democratic as the fourth leadership style. Through collaboration, he was able to achieve consensus. He instilled trust, respect, and dedication, and he was patient and practised consensus to achieve harmony. He was eager to listen to our issues and maintain a positive attitude. He was realistic about our objectives and achievements. This shift in leadership made me very happy.

I met with leaders of many styles outside of my day job. The fifth leadership type, for example, is that of pacesetters, who demand excellence and autonomy. This type of leader establishes exceptionally high-performance criteria and lives up to them. As a coaching leader who develops people for the future, I also encountered the sixth leadership style. They identify our assets and connect them to our personal and professional goals. They motivate us to set long-term development goals and assist us in implementing a strategy. Coaching has a good impact on our ability to perform.

Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting, and Coaching are the six leadership styles identified by my research. As a result of studying these leadership approaches, I was promoted from a junior software engineer to an engineering manager. I hope you all grow as leaders so that no one loses their job because of you.

About Victor Leung

Software development professional with expertise in application architecture, cloud solutions deployment, and financial products development. Possess a Master's degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. Highly skilled in AWS (Certified Solutions Architect, Developer and SysOps Administrator), GCP (Professional Cloud Architect), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes(CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA), and Scrum(PSM, PSPO) methodologies.

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