Take our quiz to find out your leadership style. Keep in mind that you might use a combination of several styles depending on your team’s personality, the type of role you have, and the work issues you face. This quiz only suggests how you might respond to important decisions you might face on a regular basis.
- You have two days to make a big decision. You:
a. Decide without input from peers, subordinates, or team members.
b. Depend on your veteran employees to make the decision, knowing they will make the right one.
c. Quickly convene a meeting with your team members and make your decision based on the prevailing attitude you hear.
d. Prefer to leave the decision to a subordinate, then take credit if it’s a good one and stay silent if it does not work.
- What do employees want most from their jobs?
a. Feeling valued
b. Less stress
c. Being part of a team
d. Shared vision and values
- Your team misses a deadline. You:
a. Take responsibility, then immediately finish the project yourself.
b. Appoint one or two people on the team to get the project finished by a new deadline they set themselves.
c. Find out why the team missed the deadline, ask for suggestions about what the next step should be, and then set a new deadline.
d. Yell at team members, tell the group at large to fix the problem, and then walk away.
- When you have an idea you believe is good for the company, you:
a. Float it immediately to higher-ups in your organization who can make it happen.
b. Ask highly trusted members of your team to research and test the idea, get back to you with their thoughts, and then forget about it.
c. Present your idea at a team meeting and seek opinions before deciding what to do next.
d. It’s not your job to have ideas.
- When a trusted team member is late for three meetings in a row and is evasive with you about the reason, you:
a. Tell the employee privately you expect punctuality and insist the tardiness not occur again.
b. Ask human resources to find out what is going on, but request no report back to you.
c. Seek out the advice of several trusted peers.
d. Confront the employee in a public setting and ask in a loud voice why he or she keeps missing work.
- Budget concerns mean there will be no raises in the new fiscal year. You:
a. Discuss the issue with no one, but write and distribute an internal memo instructing people with questions to see you.
b. Tell your veteran team members there will be no raises, and let them inform employees the way they see fit.
c. Convene a meeting of team members, break the news, and allow questions. Then ask them for ideas on how to tell everyone else and what your organization can offer instead of raises.
d. You never plan raises in your budget anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
If you answered mostly “a”, your style is that of autocratic leadership.
Although you get the job done efficiently, you tend to be a bit inflexible. This could build resentment among employees, giving you results which will prevent your organization’s growth (lack of development and high turnover).
Light-bulb moment: Develop some of your trusted subordinates by teaching them what you do so well and then you won’t have to work such long hours. You might even enjoy work more!
If you answered mostly “b”, your style is benign or laissez-faire leadership. Your style works best when people are old hands at their jobs and your employees appreciate you for putting your trust in them. However, be sure to designate specifically who is responsible for which projects or they may not get done.
Light-bulb moment: Set firm deadlines and check along the way to make sure you get what you expect. Also, schedule dates for reports to come directly to you in the form (written or oral) that makes sense for you and the team.
If you answered mostly “c”, your style is collaborative leadership. It’s a nice way to make team members feel useful and it’s a good development tool. It also cuts down on cutthroat competition if everyone has an equal say.
Light-bulb moment: If you are a leader who thrives on quick decisions, or if your organization requires them, find a way to compromise between you-think and group-think.
If you answered mostly “d”, your employees probably do not trust you. Do you trust yourself?
Light-bulb moment: One of the first things you can do is to lay a strong foundation by treating others the way you wish to be treated. If you want the responsibility of leading, develop your interpersonal skills in leadership training courses. Another good way to improve is to engage an executive-level coach; and, “yes”, we can provide that service.