Are You Ready for “Goldilocks Leadership?” Read Below to Find Out If Your Leadership Style is “Just Right”

We’ve all heard the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears as a child.

How this brave, young girl ventures into the home of a bear family while they are away and samples their food and sleeping amenities.

This little girl is somewhat particular and discards 67% of the items she samples, some food she tastes is too hot, some too cold, and one is ‘just right.” Same with the beds she samples, one is too hard, one is too soft with the third being ‘just right.’

In last week’s blog post These 2 Different Leadership Styles Cause the Same Negative, Toxic and Unproductive Workplace Cultures I wrote about the two diametrically opposed leadership styles I typically find when I begin working with a client that is struggling with poor attitudes, communication and productivity in their work environment.

I was amazed to realize that two totally opposite leadership styles can cause the same outcome in human behavior in the workplace.

Today I want to offer what I am calling today the “Goldilocks Leadership” style, which when compared to the “Command & Control” style vs. the “Avoid & Let Go” style I outlined last week, is the “Just Right” leadership style that will maximize morale, motivation and productivity in your work environment.

Work environments led by “champion leaders” that practice “just right” leadership have these characteristics:

  • Results oriented
  • Take initiative on their own
  • Limited oversight needed, high levels of trust people will follow through on assigned tasks, projects, commitments, etc.
  • Diligent on meeting deadlines
  • Have confidence to make decisions or identify and suggest possible solutions for problems
  • Offer to help, chip in for/with co-workers
  • See things as “us” and “win/win”
  • Creative and will take reasonable risks
  • Punctuality, attendance high, and turnover low
  • Do the right thing based on best interests of the company, co-workers, etc.
  • Positive attitudes permeates
  • CYA – Celebrate Your Achievements (& co-workers)

If that’s the type of work environment you’d like to create as a leader of your organization or team, here’s the “just right” leadership style you need to lead with:

  • Set high standards
  • Set realistic, yet challenging expectations
  • Communicate with humility, empathy and compassion to gain buy-in and commitment to the performance standards and expectations
  • Apply behavior and performance standards consistently and equitably to all
  • Have a clearly defined, inspirational vision that is consistently communicated and reinforced regularly
  • Have an open mind
  • Readily asks for other ideas & input
  • Accepts and considers respectfully delivered feedback
  • Trusts people to do their job with acceptable levels of measurements and accountability
  • Engage in discussions to help everyone improve, practice Kaizen (constant and never-ending improvement)
  • Offer consistent positive feedback
  • Allow for mistakes as learning opportunities and be solution focused when mistakes problems arise
  • Address behavior/performance issues promptly, directly & respectfully
  • Have regular discussions to learn how you can help your people do their jobs easier and better

I’m sure there are some traits I’m missing but this is a good start.

If you’d like some help with this, you may want to consider joining me for the 2012 Leadership Communication Mastery Series, which includes 10-lessons on leadership communication, you can learn more and register when you’re ready here!

’til next time, make it a great week!