How to Find Your Leadership Style: Crash Course Business – Soft Skills #14

How to Find Your Leadership Style: Crash Course Business – Soft Skills #14

Being a good leader seems tough. And as we’ve seen throughout history with
exiled kings and mutinied ship captains, it’s no easy task to inspire others. It’s easy to get down on yourself and doubt
that you have what it takes. But, like everything in this course, we’re
here to tell you that you can do it! The idea of a natural-born leader is a bit
of a myth, and it’s possible for anyone to become a leader… or at least more leader-like. So today, we’ll show you how leadership
styles can be different, which skills are most effective, and how to make sure your
team stays in sync. I’m Evelyn from the Internets. And this is Crash Course Business: Soft Skills [Intro Music Plays] Nowadays, the word manager has a bad rep and
reminds people of a demanding, inflexible, or out-of-touch boss. On the other hand, a leader is seen as a supportive,
visionary, or proactive boss. But those are just stereotypes. A good manager has to have good leadership
skills. Managers play a big part in shaping a company’s
culture. They influence behavior and productivity,
and set the vibe, which is why organizations are so different. It’s like how Amazon has 14 codified leadership
rules that lead to high productivity, but a lot of burnout and competition. Or how Walt Disney focused on creating a magical
experience by calling park visitors “guests” and employees “cast members.” People usually don’t quit companies. They quit managers. We all have at least one story of a boss we
couldn’t stand. So that’s part of why leadership skills
are so valuable. Here’s the thing, though: a leader isn’t
just a manager or a larger-than-life historical icon. Sure, there are standout activists like Marsha
P. Johnson or supreme court justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A leader can be anyone who works well with
others and inspires them to achieve their goals. Like a sports team where some players help
out just as much as the captains or coaches, in business you can show leadership in small
ways too. An effective leader creates a positive and
productive environment. An ineffective leader creates a negative environment
with a lot of tension. Leaders have 7 core skills: forming strong
relationships, making effective decisions, coordinating teamwork, communicating well,
being ethical, motivating others, and providing direction. Basically, they help bring people together
to accomplish things that nobody can do alone! And there are lots of different leadership
styles, so you can pick what works best for you and switch it up in different situations. Like, you wouldn’t deal with a difficult
customer the same way you’d pitch a new client. Commanding leaders live by a “do what I
tell you” philosophy. They’re forceful, blunt, and straightforward,
like a military commander shouting at their troops. This style is good for getting things done
fast or when someone really isn’t listening, but using commands too much can make people
frustrated. When it’s warranted, some commanding leaders
are effective. But it can be associated with bad leadership. Visionary leaders give general guidelines
and set broad goals, but they basically let people find their own path. They’re the “come with me” leader. This style is great if your team thrives without
much direction. But if you’re less experienced than the
rest of your team, you could be perceived as too idealistic and it could rub people
the wrong way. Affiliative leaders focus more on relationships. They’re the “people come first” leaders,
who try to solve conflicts by accommodating and making people happy. This style can help us feel supported and
motivated… but it can also come at a price. If people are placed too highly above performance,
some people may start slacking off. Democratic leaders are most likely to ask,
“what do you think?” They want to build an environment where people
are involved in making decisions and most everyone agrees with each decision. This style can make sure decisions are fair,
but it can also make them slow. If a meeting is already taking an hour, we
do not need a sharing stick. We need a fast decision! You know the phrase “do as I say not as
I do?” Well, pacesetting leaders want you to “do
as I do, now.” They’re more likely to set a highly ambitious
goal and adhere to their own high standards. This style can work well for a team of highly
motivated people or overachievers, but perfect is the enemy of good. And it can be exhausting to keep up with a
pacesetting leader. But coaching leaders, like every pee-wee football
coach, are all about providing support, offering advice, and helping people change and grow. They’re likely to say, “try this.” This style of guidance is usually helpful,
unless the team is super experienced and just wants to get work done without a lot of input. To visualize all of these leaders, imagine
telling a team to solve a puzzle in the office break room. A visionary leader would give an inspirational
speech about how everyone has the power to put together a great puzzle, then show examples
of teams who solved puzzles as a benchmark. An affiliative leader would use the puzzle
as a tool to build a sense of community and get people excited to work on other projects
with each other again. A democratic leader would survey everyone
to figure out the best way to put the puzzle together, and then divvy up the pieces each
person needs to handle. A pacesetting leader would set a timer and
then dive straight in, while expecting everyone to put together as many pieces as they are. And a coaching leader would show people how
to fix the pieces they tried to jam together in a frenzy, and provide a good book on puzzle-solving
for everyone to read. Now, this is super simplified. People are complicated and can’t be separated
into neat little boxes, so we blend leadership styles together. Someone like Michelle Obama is usually described
as a charismatic leader. She may blend visionary and affiliative styles
together and use diplomacy and charisma to smooth things along. And the leadership style that works best for
your company or team may not work in everyone’s. Oprah may be great at leading those book clubs,
but she probably wouldn’t be a great hockey team coach. So while leadership seminars and retreats
may seem flashy or help you network a little, they’re not going to magically change you
into a great leader overnight. That’s not how anything works. To see how to judge who you should take leadership
advice from, let’s go to the Thought Bubble. You’ve been working at a popular ethical
clothing brand for about five years, and you’ve just been promoted to lead the communications
team. Together, you’ll write press releases and
develop multimedia campaigns for all your new products. You’re understandably nervous. You’ve never led a team before, and you
really want to do well. So before you start, you book a ticket to
a 2-day leadership conference in Brooklyn. There are hundreds of attendees, a charismatic
keynote speaker, and panels of entrepreneurs. You hear about people’s successes and failures,
and by the end of the weekend you’re feeling inspired. But when you get home and review your notes,
they’re mostly a list of meaningless buzzwords. You realize you felt super empowered because
of the environment, not because of the information. Most of the advice was pretty superficial,
like “be the mentor you wish you’d had” and “be free to be yourself.” And those hyper-specific leadership tips from
that venture capital tech firm CEO don’t really apply to your job. Every organization is different, so seek out
advice from people with leadership styles you admire. That’s way better than listening to blanket
statements from people that just seem like influential leaders. Instead of going to generic conferences, read
articles from academic sources like The Harvard Business Review. Or find advice from experts who study and
teach business and organizational management. You’ll still need to think critically about
anything you read or hear, since everyone has their own biases. And even the best articles won’t lead to
instant success, even though they can give you new ideas to try. The absolute best way to become a better leader
is to practice. Try different styles and learn from mistakes
to find the approaches that work best for you. Thanks, Thought Bubble! Just in case you’re wondering, Crash Course
Business isn’t a leadership seminar. We’ve got some pretty awesome academics
putting together research-based advice. Good leadership essentially boils down to
the golden rule, with a twist. Treat others as you want to be treated — and
listen to how they want to be treated, because you’re different people! One of the best ways to build people up is
to provide positive feedback and genuine praise. We all like to know that we’re appreciated. We tend to underestimate how much recognition
can really mean to people. So, awards like employee of the month or a
handwritten thank you note can go a long way to show we’re invested. Just don’t go handing people plastic keychains
as a thank you for 40 years of service. We celebrate achievements all the time with
retirement parties, birthday parties, graduation parties, and baby showers. So we can do it for business achievements,
too. Plan an event like a nice dinner to celebrate
the end of a big project and reflect on good things that happened. And if your budget is tight or your team is
small, you could put together something informal, like going out for drinks to welcome a new
coworker. Nothing brings people together in an office
like free cake. Also, it feels good to see positive feedback
empower others, but we don’t need to celebrate everything. If your coworker’s best friend’s dog just
had puppies, put cute pics on the fridge and leave it at that. No matter what your company’s celebration
style is, your achievements always matter. And you can definitely develop the skills
to lead and help other people feel appreciated. So if you take away nothing else from today,
remember: Anyone can focus on building leadership skills. Life and work can change a lot. Pick a leadership style that works for you,
but you may need to switch it up. Follow the golden rule, and celebrate achievements
to boost team spirit and productivity. No matter how good a leader is, office politics
can get complex. So next time, we’ll talk about fairness
— one of the most important things in keeping a workplace productive. Without it, leadership falls flat. Thanks for watching Crash Course Business, which is sponsored by Google. If you want to help keep all Crash Course
free for everybody, forever, you can join our community on Patreon. And if you want to learn about some non-business
leadership structures, check out our this Crash Course Government video about congressional

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. The best one remains to be strict yet understanding. And especially, be a listening ear! Everyone likes to feel important and everyone wants to be heard. Good leaders are listeners and make their people feel appreciated.

  2. "Treat others as you want to be treated and listen to how they want to be treated, because you're different people" Finally someone who acknowledges the problem with the golden rule!

  3. My 2 cents: learn to SEE good work, and when possible task with results instead of steps (to encourage better problem solving).

    Biggest mistake of the 20. century: make the best workers the boss and give the boss more money just based on hierarchy.

  4. I think context definitely matters, if I were asked to lead a group of friends vs. asked to manage my coworkers for a night, those would be drastically different styles… but then, those would be two different people, wouldn't they! Haha. Very informative videos! I think anyone can benefit from watching these. 🙂

  5. So I only just noticed it in the last couple episodes but
    The paintings behind the host on this particular set give an impression of wings!

    It seems fitting, you are all kind of angels 😀


  7. As a former head of HR, I can say people want to be lead in most cases but not by an idiot.

    I was a leader that had high expectations but also ALWAYS made sure I did the work with my team. A truly great leader knows that most people want to be challenged to be their best but they need to know you’ll be there to help them achieve their best.

    It was so funny because most employees thought I was a tough manager and would ask my team how it was to work for me and they’d be like ‘she’s the coolest manager here, but she expects your best effort at all times’.

    I would always say if something goes wrong on my team I failed them in some way. And when stuff went right I always shouted my team out as the real MVPs.

    Sometimes I miss having a team but it’s a lot of work being a good leader to as many people as possible as much as possible.

  8. I like the way she delivers it. Very easy to understand because she talks very calmly and use the vocabularies that can be understood by many people

  9. Today I had to talk to my store manager about an asst manager who seemed to think treating a 50 yr old as if 16 was a good idea. No matter the age, one should not treat others that way. If nothing else, walk away..there are other employers.

  10. The reality is you will probably have more than one person trying to lead…or…well, being told they need to lead so they put in an effort. This is a part of office politics, and unfortunately you will most likely be in the middle of it. Best of luck, keep that resume up to date, and what feels like a horrible experience may turn out to be a shining bullet point on your resume under leadership skills.

    …Or not because sometimes you get to just take punches. Best of luck and if you find out that leadership has become your thing, start your own business or consult. Getting people to follow you and like it is a skill that you should benefit from, not the hierarchy above you.

  11. Great Channel!!!!! Could you please share with me the name of the software you use to make this awesome animations?

  12. A good leader can make their co-worker feel they are safe and feel they are belong there, belong in the company

  13. My S.O. is going to school and talks to me about her classes on business and leadership for input. This 10 minute video is literally all her semesters, simplified. Great stuff!
    Leadership is a lifestyle, it can apply to everything in your life, and investing in those skills can have a very positive effect on you and other people you interact with.

    I would highly recommend reading 'Monday Morning Leadership' by David Cottrell as a follow-up to this video.

  14. These tips are great and very useful. However in my experience the employers should also learn about them, because in many cases the high leadership are the ones who betray these guidelines. Sometimes company policy and company strategy are opposing each other. Was a hard lesson to stomach.

  15. I'm a terrible leader but somehow I'm a leader. I usually try to meet people where they are and draw the best out of them. Over time I've gotten a lot better at taking charge when I need to and I'm good at working with small amounts of people.

  16. Interesting episode
    So……from what I learn
    A visionary is the spokesman
    the Affiliate is the cooperative or gatherer
    the Democratic is the architect or builder
    the Pacesetter is the one who makes the final decision and organize the time and place
    the Coach leader is the teacher and guide for the group.

  17. That superficial confrence notes is the reason I never attend leadership seminar. Thankyou crashcourse for being straightfoward

  18. Basically ot comes out to an advice that we keep repeating in Romania: use the Ohm law:
    if you are man with me, i will be man with you.
    (In romania it makes sence because Ohm is close to "om=man")

  19. Born leaders are a total myth as one of the key ingredients is experience (of some kind, even if you’re just 11 years old, but had some experience in something in comparison to others). 🙂

  20. If I had to boil management and leadership down to a small number of points it would look something like this:
    1. Find out what workers, superiors, tasks, and processes have the greatest impact on operations and your own rating as a manager, focus on those first above all else. Everyone and every task on the list is important, but some are more important than others.
    2. Obtain resources to carry out tasks and equip your workforce. Make sure you reward and retain the best workers in your department, they are essential to productivity.
    3. Delegate tasks and choose someone to be your right hand man/woman to help keep things rolling, you can't run a department alone.
    4. Communicate effectively, and honestly for long term success. Public speaking courses, courses on rapport building, psychology courses, and sociology courses can all help with this.
    5. Optimize where possible, and begin working to improve processes after you have a good working knowledge of the work at hand, and the people in your department.

    Your style of leadership will vary depending on the individual workers, and the general atmosphere of the company, that you are working with. Persuasion is pretty easy: get their focus, build rapport, communicate your message, and get commitment to action or "buy in". Reward and punishment(constructive intervention), group and individual, is something that should be used with great care.

  21. There is actually very little in the video about actual leadership. The whole lecture is about management and management styles, not leadership. Leadership, by definition, has to meet certain qualifications and it has to meet them all. Miss one qualification and it's no longer leadership.

  22. You’re have provided some essentials skills for the each future or present manager, thanks you for that, treat others like you want others will treat you!

  23. 5:36
    Michelle Obama is the leader? 😳
    Wow, and here was me thinking that Barack was the President.
    Oh well, I guess that explains all the "feelings" and lack of logic in that administration. Thanks for clearing that up. 😜

  24. I haaaaaate having to go to parties, dinners, drinks, etc or get poems and token gifts from coworkers and managers. I'd rather get a funny meme text or get to go home early and still get paid for a whole day.

  25. A book I'm currently reading on Amazon kindle titled Cerebral Currency brought me here. Great book! I highly recommend for peeps like me in their twenties. It made me start doing research on a lot of personal development strategies.

  26. hi crash course, can you guys give source to the advices you gave on this video? it'll be nice to read further about this topic. thanks

  27. I don't want a thank you from my leadership for great work. They can thank me by paying me more. Keep the thanks.

  28. As a student with zero leadership experience about to chair a volunteer group, I'm so glad for this crashcourse! I know my team and all the potential there, and I have to figure out how to get to that potential (without burning anyone out!). As a shy ambivalent type who hates talking out or making decisions, I don't seem like the likely candidate to lead, but I know people relate to me easily and I can get to the heart of people's motivations. This is super helpful for improving my weaker skills for the role!

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