Leadership styles and theories developed over the years because people genuinely want to lead others well – especially when it comes to being a critical component of an individual’s work success. The problem with most books and archetypes of leadership is that they’re written by and for men, and based on the experiences men have in our culture and in companies.
They’re often based on traditionally masculine personality traits and never do they take into consideration how women experience power and politics differently in the office.
How do I create an authentic leadership style?
So if you’re a woman who was recently promoted into a leadership role, how do you figure out the best leadership style for you to emulate? Every style you try on feels like a shoe that’s a few sizes too big – it’s uncomfortable and leaves you feeling like you’re going to fall on your face any minute.
Instead of trying to emulate one of these common leadership archetypes, I’d encourage you to define your natural gifts and use those to craft a leadership style that’s completely unique to you. This is how you make your leadership style and your personal brand cohesive!
In The Personal Power Code, I’ve created a system to help women leaders like you develop their executive presence, become more confident decision makers and gain clarity on the best uses of their time and energy. All of these pieces of the Personal Power Code come together to tell a strong story of how you excel in a role, and the value that you bring to the company overall.
How to influence others at work
The first piece of the Personal Power Code is Influence, which is my version of executive presence. I call it Influence because it’s about the energy you bring into a room with you, and how the people around you respond to it. It’s often called executive presence or even charisma, but those names do us a disservice by implying that there’s only one way to have the presence of a powerful executive.
In fact, most of the Director level working women I partner with fall into one of these three most common styles of Influence (or executive presence).
- Magnetic: a highly relational leadership style that focuses on building connections 1:1 with many individuals. Magnetic leaders can quickly win favor and get others engaged because they’re someone you want to be around and work with.
- Aspirational: Aspirational leaders influence others by modelling – they do what they expect others to do and their behaviors are mimicked. While they are often emulated, the loyalty they receive from others can be a bit more fickle as there isn’t as strong of a 1:1 relationship here.
- Catalyst: A values based leader who loves to rally people to a shared belief, value or goal. They don’t make their leadership style about them, but about the impact they’re trying to create. They are excellent storytellers!
Do you see yourself in any of these styles?
How to develop your executive presence
If you want to learn more about executive presence for women leaders and get additional tools to help you identify your leadership style and your style of executive presence, be sure to attend Your Most Influential Year Ever – a free on-demand training where I break down the entire first lesson of the Personal Power Code and teach you what it looks like to apply this knowledge and show up more powerfully at work.