4 –Ways to Determine Which Industry-Based Leadership Style is Best for Your Company
An industry-based leadership style is the unwritten rules of your industry, yet customers react to them because of its wide practices. I want to help you understand those industry-based leadership styles that are often associated with various industries. I also want you to know that it is not limited to a geographical area rather it is universal because of the public’s general perception of how the industry relates to their customers.
Some industries are identified by their unofficially adopted leadership style. Among them are: law enforcement, IT, manufacturing, finance, insurance, banking, transportation, sales organizations, and consulting. Employees and customers’ perception of the way your industry works can positively or negative impact you business. Here are the four industry-based leadership styles to help you identify the best one for your company.
● Commanding leadership style
In a commanding industry-based leadership the structure of the company allows very limited delegation of power because power is based on hierarchy and rules. There are rules and procedure that only the leader can alter. This system works well for some industries. For example, commanding leadership style is most suitable for specialized industries where innovation is least expected such as repetitive jobs, custom designed projects, highly structured businesses and organizations such as the law enforcement, and companies that employ nonprofessionals, food services, security protection business such as security guards, retail industry, financial industry, hardware manufacturing, insurance, pool maintenance, plumbing, and all businesses involving the use of blueprints.
● Collegial leadership Style
Industry-based collegial leadership style is a flexible approach to how an industry deals with their employees and customers. On the employee level, the industry encourages innovation, creativity, and empowers employees to take initiative in leading projects. On the customer level, the customer is aware of their negotiation power to initiate policy change because the industry unwritten policy of accommodating customers’ needs. For example a customer can negotiate a graphic design format with a company or participate in decision making with an event planning company because the customer awareness of a particular industry’s susceptibility in accommodating customers’ needs.
The collegial leadership style is most appropriate for sales organizations, graphic design, software designs, website developing, executive coaching, attorneys, advertising, marketing, public relations, event planning, beauty salons, barber shops and interior design.
● Stationary leadership style
Industry-based stationary leadership style is a mistake avoidance approach associated with precision, reflection, analysis and caution. The industry is cautious about mistakes in performing their obligations to their customers because of possible economic cost to their customers. Automobile repair industry is a good example, when customers take their automobiles to the repair shop, the shop cannot afford to randomly start to fix the problem without first conducting a diagnostic test because doing so would result unnecessary economic cost to the customer.
Industry-based stationary leadership style works well with the following industries: automation systems, assembly line, cosmetic manufacturing, health and beauty aid manufacturing, automobile oil change and lubrication services, automobile paint, automobile parts delivery services, medical practices, health and welfare agencies, health maintenance organizations, health care facilities, auto repair shops, dentistry, clinical laboratory, and food manufacturing.
● Visible leadership style
Industry-based visible leadership style means that the industry functions as a part of the larger community in which they are located. They tend to participate with the neighborhood fund-drives, support school activities, employ teenagers from the community to work during the summer months, allows staff to volunteer for community events. Their actions make them a part of the community and the community sees them as such because of their keen interest in the community involvement.
The industry-based visible leadership style is most appropriate for event planning, insurance, grocery stores, real estate, community policing, sporting goods, restaurants, automobile dealership, hospitals, medical groups, nursing homes, churches, and nonprofit organizations.
Things to bear in mind
Although both industry-based leadership style and relation-based leadership style impact your company’s success, but the community only identifies your company by the industry-based style because it is the unspoken structure of your industry. It is, also, the cornerstone of your company’s operation. I said earlier that your industry-based style is the way the public views your entire industry’s way of doing business, it also includes how your industry relates to customers. On the other side of the coin, is the relation-based leadership which is your view of your employees, your customers, the media, your suppliers, your board of directors, your investors, your banker, your accountant, your lawyers and other stakeholders.
If you have been in business for a period of time, chances are that you have developed some leadership skills, probably relation-based, that have sustained your company without thinking about doing things differently. It is also most likely that your sustaining approach has not move your company to the next level towards attaining your vision. Watching your competitors expanding and increasing their product lines can be very frustrating, specifically if your product is as good as your competitors’ products. The problem is that you have not identified the best leadership style for your industry.
In today’s fast-past economy, you have to continually refine both your industry-based leadership style and your relation-based leadership style, for you to remain competitive. Your business type must guide the ways that you lead your organization. In other words, the leadership style for cosmetic manufacturer is not the same as the leadership for a rapidly evolving technology company, dry cleaning service, real estate, insurance, or an automobile manufacturing company. Unfortunately, most leaders are unaware of effective leadership style for their company. Although leadership involves flexibility as the task at hand dictates, you still need to adhere to the leadership practices that fit your industry.
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About John Alizor
John O. Alizor, Ph.D., currently runs workshops and seminars on leadership as the founder and president of John Alizor, Ph.D., Leadership Forensics Business Consulting, Inc. He has an extensive background in education administration and business leadership roles including making his first million dollars as the head of a manufacturing company. He is sharing his leadership…