The Key to Engaging Leadership? Eclectic Leadership
Eclectic leadership simply means that you don’t ascribe to one single way of leading and having an open mind to possibilities. Importantly it allows for spontaneity, and a more natural leadership style to come through.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have the bigger picture in mind or a strategy for where you are leading the team. This is still an essential requirement…but how you get your team to the end goal is where being eclectic can be a huge advantage.
So what is an eclectic leadership style?
- It means you are open to creating your own leadership style that isn’t a mirror of any single leadership guru.
- Appreciate the different messages, experiences and guidance of the leadership teachers and then pick out the elements that suit ‘who’ you are. For example, my leadership style is based on a blend of philosophies and approaches taken from Eric Berne, Stephen Covey, Sun Tzu, Wilfred Bion, Geert Hofstede and a smattering of other teachers from different schools. The different elements of these approaches that I have chosen fit well with my own philosophies and have helped to stretch and support me. In turn it helps reinforce the line of sight between my values as a person and how I lead.
- It also means that when you come to an obstacle you are prepared to consider different ways of addressing it rather than trying to bulldoze through with a single solution that may be appropriate in some situations, but not all. If you have a personal approach to leading that is eclectic you will be in a better position to address obstacles in more creative and effective ways.
I will leave this insight with a different way of thinking about leadership and being eclectic. Imagine the song, ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’. I can guarantee that if you have attended half a dozen jazz festivals that you have heard this tune played in half a dozen different ways. Yet each time you heard it you knew the name of the tune and how it would end (‘the bigger picture’)…and the journey that each of the jazz groups took to achieve the final note was most likely very different. However the big question is this…were any of these versions the ‘wrong’ version?
No, of course not. Each group simply played the tune to suit their personality and the experience within the band. The same goes for choosing your leadership style.