How style may impact your team’s performance

The five leadership and management styles in today’s business are: The Boss, the Judge, the Missing, the Super Performer and the Coach. Understanding these five leadership and management styles is key to becoming a true take charge leader/manager. Four of the five sub-optimize the human interaction so critical in developing a world class performance culture. A true leader/manager leverages both the organization and individual capabilities to unlock efficiency, effectiveness and true corporate value.

The ‘Boss’ and ‘Judge’

These two styles are authoritarian leadership and management styles and likely to be evidenced by a rigid rules system and an expectation of obedience to authority. This is evidenced by a manager who takes absolute control of a workplace situation, without reference to their team’s views and input would be exhibiting an authoritarian management style which is directive in nature.

Where these authoritarian management style models are allowed to thrive unchallenged, either in the work-place or in society in general, is rigidity and inflexibility more likely to result in entrenched thinking and a lack of response to rapidly changing scenarios.

The ‘Missing’ and ’Super Contributor’

These two management styles are polar opposites of delegating styles. With the ‘Missing’ style, the leader-manager is too busy with their own job and takes a laissez faire attitude, dishing out tasks to employees and leaving the rest solely up to the employee including any decisions about problems that may arise. Their attitude is to think they hire very senior people who know what to do and don’t need supervision.

The ‘Super Contributor’ leader-manager is the polar opposite, working with their people at a very detailed level, often insisting on being involved in every significant interaction, interjecting themselves into every aspect of work activity. Both contribute significantly to team frustration and under-performance.

The Coach

Coaching is the most critical competitive skill that any organization can have. It is the most potent tool available for improving performance, maximizing productivity and achieving revenue growth. Effective coaching is an integral part of how any leader manages. The broader objective is to create a world class entrepreneurial culture in which collaboration and coaching are cornerstones of behavior.

Helping your colleagues and sub-ordinates take responsibility for their own development will build team cohesion and accelerated productivity.

The first step in leadership is about vision. The second step is empowerment. The third step is coaching. While all three are interrelated, coaching pervades all three and supports the others. The goal of effective leadership is to create independence. Effective coaches and leaders:

  • Act as role models, demonstrating in the first person the skills and behaviors which are critical to successful meetings and conversations
  • Collaborate and communicate frequently with their teams and individuals to share strategies and tactics, reviewing key account, opportunity and executive briefing plans to construct optimal outcomes
  • Add value and guidance by providing domain expertise and relevant knowledge and acting as sounding boards for ideas and suggestions
  • Support team and individual decisions and actions with customers, prospects and colleagues



Rick Nichols is Managing Partner of TechCXO’s Sales & Marketing Practice and a member of the Executive Committee. He can be reached at or view his full bio.