The Never-Ending “Fight” That Taught Me About Leadership

In life, we all have that one dear friend, trusted advisor, or mentor with whom we continuously “fight” about that one specific thing. It’s not a major battle but a playful tussle where neither of us will ever admit that the other is right. This ongoing friendly “fight” has been a constant in my life for the past five years, and to be honest, I don’t think it will ever end. But instead of being a source of contention, it has been a catalyst for some of the most enlightening discussions, revelations, and, most importantly, moments of hearty laughter.

The Root cause of Our “Fight”

The core of our never-ending “fight” is leadership style, specifically whether one’s leadership style leans more towards being people-centric or task-oriented. This playful debate has led to numerous insights and a better understanding of leadership dynamics in various settings.

Traditionally, there has been a categorization between people-centric and task-centric individuals regarding their approach to work and social interactions. People-centric individuals tend to prioritize relationships, collaboration, and the well-being of others. Their focus is on building connections and maintaining harmony in a group. On the other hand, task-centric individuals prioritize completing tasks, achieving goals, and efficiency. They may be more focused on the job at hand and less concerned with the social aspects of work.

Navigating the Spectrum

It’s essential to recognize that these categories exist on a spectrum, and many individuals fall somewhere in between, displaying a mix of people-centric and task-centric tendencies. Additionally, people’s natural tendencies can be influenced by their roles, circumstances, and personal preferences.

The alignment with people-centric and task-centric individuals can be seen in the flexibility of the Situational Leadership model. Leaders using this approach assess the readiness of their team members and adjust their leadership style accordingly. For more task-centric individuals or teams, a telling or delegating style might be more appropriate. In contrast, for people-centric individuals or teams, selling or participating styles may be more effective.

Mastering Situational Leadership

Mastering Situational Leadership involves finding that balance. It means recognizing your own tendencies and knowing when to adjust your approach. For task-oriented individuals, it might mean learning to be more flexible and people-focused in certain situations. People-centric individuals may need to sharpen their task-oriented skills when the situation demands it.

Can you be naturally good at situational leadership? The short answer is yes, you can be naturally good at Situational Leadership. However, it’s important to note that even if someone doesn’t possess all these factors naturally, Situational Leadership can still be learned and improved through training and development. It’s a leadership style that can be developed and refined over time.

Everything Shapes Your Leadership

Reflecting on my friendly “fight” about leadership styles, I realize that everything in life impacts everything. Whatever life has thrown your way can contribute to personal growth and development, which can, in turn, enhance your ability to apply Situational Leadership effectively. I quess the real question here is which came first? And how much it really matters to know which came first?

The key is to harness these experiences as opportunities for personal and leadership development. Who knows, your past, current, and future “fights” might just be the catalysts for greater understanding and laughter in your own leadership journey.