Leadership style

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Harvard Business Review

Eight ways to define and develop your leadership style

Harvard Business Review
14 minute Read

Idea in brief

The problem

Bosses often sense that something is lacking in an employee’s tool kit but can’t put a finger on what it is. They say something like “You’re missing important intangibles” or “You need more gravitas” but fail to provide advice or guidance.

The research

What they’re talking about is leadership style. In every interaction, we send signals to others about our power and status. The more consistent we are in our signals, the more distinctive our style becomes.

The approach

This practical guide offers concrete advice for developing a dynamic and effective leadership style, including tips such as what volume and pace to use in your speech, whether to take notes in a meeting, and how and when to interrupt others.

Few things are more frustrating for talented professionals than hitting a ceiling in their careers because they lack the appropriate leadership style. A boss senses that something is missing in a person’s tool kit but can’t put a finger on exactly what it is or how the person can improve.

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