Can You Switch between These Two Styles?

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Jon Maner identifies two generally opposed leadership styles that make for a robust management capability. He refers to them as “dominance” and “prestige” styles, and there is a time and place for both. Here is what you need to know.

The Dual Leader

Dominance relates to being assertive and invoking your formal authority. Dominant leaders incentivize and punish in order to bring about the results they want, and they want to collect more power so that they can make more decisions. Prestige relates to enamoring your subordinates with your knowledge and experience, encouraging them to follow your lead. Prestige leaders inspire people to do their best work, and they are not necessarily concerned with gathering more power.

In situations where there is a very clear goal—or a tight timeline—dominant leadership can provide the muscle to get from start to finish the fastest. The downside is that, well, people hate someone who bosses them around too much. Dominant leaders might also suppress other potential leaders to the detriment of the business. So when expressing this style of leadership, it is important to look beyond yourself and ask if your strategy is helping the business or just helping you.

Meanwhile, prestige leadership is useful when imagination and coordination are demanded. Prestige leaders empower employees to devise their own solutions, such that the leaders themselves end up helping mostly in a supportive capacity. The downside to prestige leaders is that they might care too much about how other people perceive them. As a prestige leader, you can mitigate those worries by being transparent about the difficult decisions you have to make, so that there is less skepticism tossed your way when strange things are afoot.

You can view the original article here:

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