Loren’s Leadership Styles
I modulated my leadership style according to the constituents’ needs and the environmental factors. The three leadership styles I combined were: participative, transformational, and autocratic however – my leadership philosophy, love your neighbor, does not change. I found this consistent and adaptive approach to be highly effective in building relationships that enabled peak performance while working in the US, Iraq, and Asia.
When I was leading experienced Bargaining Union -type employees at the Baghdad International Airport control node my subordinates already knew what to do, so I just provided support. An example was preparing special recognition for key IT stakeholders outside of our small element to embolden the spirit of cooperation. I also found it was important to give employees additional personal time if that was important to them.
As a human resources recruiting director, I led more that twenty Soldiers in a very large part of Northern Nevada. Because of the thousands of miles spanning our recruiting area, I chose to inspire my recruiters with an overall vision and “leader’s intent”. I was fortunate that these Solders had extensive training in the art of sales, so they could operate based solely on intent. This is similar to a virtual team concept. Employees will move mountains once they know you have complete faith in their knowledge and abilities.
Used only when a safety, legal, or ethical “loss” is imminent do I become directive: this most commonly came into play during aviation operations. One example is when a Hawai’i National Guard Soldier sustained a head injury in a vehicle accident in the remote and dangerous South Asian Island of Sulu. With a patient in critical condition, I quickly directed air and ground ambulances to support the evacuation to a brain surgeon we had met with in the previous month. The stakeholder development and team development paid off by saving a life.
One of my colleagues uses the acronym ESID – Every Situation Is Different, and I believe that. The most important leadership moment is the time between receipt of communication and your choice of feedback. Pause to think, decide which leadership style to use, and lead decisively. My job as a leader is to find out what people need to feel safe and give it to them. Personality profiles such as the DISC assessment (EverythingDiSC) give clues about what fellow humans need to feel safe and thus serve from the heart.