Understanding Your Leadership Voice

Different leadership styles

A few weeks ago, I attended a Vistage seminar on Transformational Leadership led by Brett Pyle, author of Your Extraordinary Why. The focus was to recognize your Leadership Voice and how to help those around you find and identify their own voice.

The biggest takeaway from this talk was that each of us in a leadership position has a dominant voice, with defined strengths. So, what are these distinct leadership styles?

  • Intellectual – strategic, visionary, analytical
  • Physical– lead by example, a doer, tactical
  • Conscience– spiritual, values
  • Emotional– empathetic, passionate, caring

Think for a moment: what is your go-to leadership style? The question is a little confusing, certainly. As you reflect on yourself as a leader, you probably see aspects of all four of these voices in your style. However, each of us has one dominant voice. The more you can identify your leadership style, and recognize those around you, the better off you and your company will be.

During this seminar, we were asked to move to four separate quadrants of the room, which were identified by these four leadership voices. It took me, and others, a while to contemplate and identify our core voice. When we spoke with others in our group that have the same dominant style, we discussed the strengths we possess as well as the possible deficiencies and blind spots.

So, how can knowing your internal voice be important? How can it be a competitive advantage for you, your team, and your company? For one, it can be very helpful to have a leadership team of divergent voices. This can add tremendous balance and perspective. There are times when it can be extremely important to have an emotional leader who can be empathetic, or a physical leader to roll up their sleeves and gets the work done.

Secondly, knowing your definitive voice will give you the ability to flex and change when necessary. For example, if you are that physical leader, you would rather do it than delegate or explain it. However, your style may make you a terrific tactician but weak on strategy. Ensuring you also have a strategic intellectual leader to call on will make your team that much stronger.

For your co-leaders and emerging leaders around you, giving them space, support, and encouragement to find their voice and style can be very empowering. And that can lead to strategies and growth that haven’t even occurred to you. That is where transformation can truly take place.