If you do a web search “leadership styles,” you’ll find a lot of articles that define some specific types of leaders, such as “authoritarian, democratic, etc.” Understanding these leadership types can be useful, as you will find nuggets of truth in all of them and may find approaches to leadership that resonate closely with you. But, defining your personal leadership style requires a lot of intentional experimenting and reflection to pinpoint the unique factors that make you a leader.
In Leadership Programs, we identify leadership as “the process in which people work together in an ethical and inclusive manner to achieve a common goal.” To this end, defining a leadership style will depend on an individual’s ability to analyze a situation, determine best approaches for unifying others and determine appropriate steps to achieve the desired outcome. College is an amazing time to learn how you respond to a challenge. We provide a space for you to seek out new experiences, learn how to successfully navigate setbacks, find your approach to working with others, and determine how you rally a group of people to unify around a particular topic.
One of our goals in Leadership Programs is to take a strengths-based approach to leadership. A strengths-based approach means exploring and harnessing the things you are good at doing and the things you enjoy doing so that you can leverage these assets to be successful. Many of our students will do a leadership assessment such as MBTI or Clifton Strengths which can be useful in giving you the language to describe your unique leadership style. This can be a great first step to helping you be able to answer that question “What is your leadership style.”
Other questions to ask yourself as you attempt to figure out your approach to leadership should include:
- What role do I like to play in a team?
- What sorts of tasks or projects do I enjoy the most?
- How do I take in new information or approach learning a new skill?
- How do I influence others?
- How do I manage my work flow?
- How do I deal with challenges and setbacks?