Many leaders count on past experience and knowledge more than anything else to respond to current or emerging situations. They rely upon established norms and proven practices to drive their decisions. This gives rise to 2 behavioral patterns – Analytical and Conventional.
You do not rush to response, conclusion and decision for a given situation, unless you have duly evaluated or analyzed based upon your experience and knowledge.
Your company’s sales have grown; but profit margin has badly fallen down, as also cash flow.
(-) You prepare statistical data, graphs and power points for your top management to establish that whatever you did was right; but market conditions were bad and price realization for some products is poor, eroding the profitability of company.
(0) You evaluate and explain your management that you would drive cost of those products (ones with poorer margin) lower; however, that would not make up the lost margin, since market does not pay what is needed. Therefore, you also make a plea to your management for reducing budgeted profit and cash flow, so that you could meet targets.
(+) You recommend selling the business of loss making products to a 3rd party, corresponding reduction in sales and propose to develop and launch new products.
Your approach on above lines majority of time, would lead to following styles:
(-) Since you do not want to change, like to justify that your actions and allow yourself to be driven by external factors, you are a Dormant Leader.
(0) Since you do take your analysis and ideas forward to bring changes and improvements, albeit partly and trades off, you tend to be a Situational or Transactional Leader.
(+) When you exhibit courage and are prepared to take tough but right decisions, you are a Pragmatic Leader.
Many like to trade on a tested path, are risk averse, follow past practices (regardless whether these have outlived their usefulness) and hesitate to subscribe to dramatically different and new ideas. Such pattern of behavior makes them conventional in approach.
A group of employees want more team building and cultural events in the company; but some managers resist stating that they cannot afford to spend more time than what is already being done, due to business exigencies.
(-) You feel that employees’ demand is unwarranted and more such events would only bring productivity down. Therefore, you simply turn down employees’ request.
(0) To assess whether employees’ demand is reasonable, you check with your sister organizations how many hours per year they spend on such activities. You discover that your organization is already spending more time. Therefore, you advice employees your plan to cut down on such activities, rather than addition and you share with them info obtained from other units.
(+) You call for employees and managers meeting, explain them pros and cons of adding more of such activities and evolve a consensus how many should be added, while asking employees to maintain productivity level.
Your tendency to adopt above approaches would lead to:
(-) When you have your preconceived notions, do not wish to look at merit of changes being proposed and stick to what you believe, you are a Dogmatic Leader.
(0) When you do not want to deviate from the set rules, so also practices adopted by your peers, regardless of merits or relevance, you become a Bureaucratic Leader.
(+) When you carry everyone or majority with you, involve them in debating and decision making, you become a Democratic or Team Playing Leader.