Leadership Styles: X vs Y

What is your leadership style? How do you engage with your team to get things done?

There are lots of ways to look at this, but today we’re going to go over a model that splits leadership into an X style and a Y style.

**Ultimately, of course, it’s all about how you communicate. And, whatever your leadership style, if you want to have great 1-2-1 meetings with your team, check out my “Perfect 1-2-1 Framework” one-page PDF at https://leadershipjetway.com/perfect121

Type X is all about “directing and controlling”. It’s an “I’m in charge” model. You’re sitting in the captain’s chair, directing the troops with clear orders. You do this. You do that. Get this done by this deadline please.

It’s old fashioned. And most of the time, not the best way to go. But every now and then it can be useful and in a minute I’ll explain exactly why and when.

Type Y is all about engaging and enthusing and empowering your team. Challenging and supporting them. In Type Y the job of the leader is to create clarity about what we’re trying to achieve, setting the priorities and then letting the team figure out how we deliver.

There’s lots of research that shows what people really value in their work is autonomy and control over what they’re doing. And the Type Y approach leans into this and GIVES them that autonomy and control.

But like I said… Every now and again, Type X is appropriate.

Sometimes the circumstances demand it. Some situations just lend themselves to the leader taking charge and dishing out orders. It might be an emergency or crisis. Or it might be trivial matters that just need to be ticked off. But sometimes, it’s appropriate, and even preferable to just jump in and declare what needs to happen.

Secondly.. Some PEOPLE respond better to Type X leadership.

I was once working with someone and had done all of the Type Y stuff, for weeks… And was getting nowhere. As soon as I said… In a moment of frustration… “Look. Will you please just do this by this deadline. Just get it done.” They said… “Oh. Why didn’t you say so?” and delivered BRILLIANT work.

What that individual needed to be successful, was some Type X leadership from me.

Again. For most people, this doesn’t work. Type Y is much better. But every now and again, you’ll run into someone who needs a Type X approach from you to succeed. And when that happens you have to balance trying to coach them towards responding to a Type Y approach, with actually being the Type X leader that THEY need (even if it’s not the leader you’re most comfortable being).

So… What type of leader are you? What’s your go-to style? Can you identify any circumstances or people in your team who could do with a bit of Type X from time to time? Have a think. Drop a comment to tell me your thoughts.

#leadershiptraining #newmanagertraining #leadershipjetway


Published by bencosh

Helping new leaders make a flying start.

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