What Type of Leader Are You?

No matter where life takes you, there will be a moment when you're called to lead, and in that moment, understanding different leadership styles will help you.

Pharmacists and pharmacy students will most likely be in leadership positions as managers, preceptors, directors, and professors in a variety of practice settings, like long-term care, insurance companies, retail, and hospital. No matter where life takes you, there will be a moment when you’re called to lead, and in that moment, understanding different leadership styles will help you.

What makes an effective and successful leader? Leaders are at the head of their organizations setting goals and direction for their followers. They’re able to visualize the bigger picture and are in charge of motivating, maintaining operations, stepping up to the plate, communicating, and sharing ideas with knowledge, methods, and their vision. Effective leaders transform organizations through strategies for the present and the future while using tools to motivate their followers.

Fundamentally, you have to know who you are, meaning your morals, values, and work ethics. Then, you must be able to adapt yourself to different situations. You must recognize internal and external inspiration for completing your daily tasks, you must cultivate the skill of understanding others, and you must excel and providing support.

There are many approaches to and styles of leadership:

  • Coercive leaders direct and use power inappropriately for a specific response. In emergency situations, this style can be effective, but it may not prove so in the long term for motivating followers.
  • Participative leaders incorporate followers and invite their opinions, making them feel respected and valued.
  • Pacesetting leaders set a high standard for followers. In this model, followers are being entrusted to fulfill specific requirements because they have the skill to do so.
  • Coaching leaders develop high-performing followers and hone in on key skillsets or traits to help mold the follower into a successful individual.

Using the different styles depending on the situation will allow for adaptation and development. Most important, successful leaders put individuals first, and unforgettable leaders have a positive impact on others, as did Mother Teresa and penicillin founder Alexander Flemming.

Other traits great leaders embody are:

  • Professionalism
  • Visible and open communication
  • Ability to admit fault
  • Optimism and propensity for risk-taking
  • Confidence and passion
  • Respectful and trustful of others

Great, successful, or unforgettable leaders aren’t made overnight. It takes time to develop the skills, communication, and ability to apply different styles of leading. Just remember, it’s a journey: there will be mistakes, but the attitude you have in managing them will influence the outcome.