Finding My Balance: The Leadership Dance of Firm and Kind

leadership style Mar 19, 2024

Picture a leader. What do you see? I used to envision someone more like a mentor, always there with open ears and a compassionate heart. That's how I aimed to lead, thinking relational leadership was the golden path. 

But here's a personal story that modified my perspective. As I embraced my role with all the enthusiasm of a relational leader, I focused intensely on building solid connections, understanding individual team members' needs, and fostering a supportive environment. It felt right, and it was, to a degree.

However, I soon realized something was missing. While becoming a tight-knit group, our progress toward objectives and outcomes could have been more sharp. The warmth was there, but the fire under our goals? Not as much.

That's when the light bulb went off. Leadership wasn't an either/or scenario; it was about balance. I learned that while leading with empathy and understanding is crucial, there's also a need to be crystal clear about objectives, outcomes, and accountability. My team needed structure and clarity just as much as they required relational warmth and support.

Adopting a blend of both leadership components wasn't just a strategic move but a journey toward authenticity. Consistency became my new mantra. Whether we were setting ambitious targets or rallying around a team member facing personal challenges, I aimed to keep our values and goals in harmony.

Communication played a crucial role in this transformation. Anytime a pivot was necessary, I made sure to share the why behind the what. This openness built trust and solidified our team's commitment to our shared vision.

So, as we wrap up, remember that authentic leadership is about mastering the blend of transactional clarity and relational warmth. Trust me; finding that balance makes all the difference in achieving goals and building a resilient, motivated, and deeply connected team.

Want to read more on this topic?  Take a look at my article on Leadership Authenticity Requires Balance 

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