What’s in Your Leadership Box?

Leadership BoxYou’ve likely heard the saying, “Big things come in small packages,” which can be translated into practical terms as: “Do not underestimate something’s value based on its packaging.” This concept applies as much to leadership as it does to a gift.  Leadership is not necessarily packaged in a big box with a boldly colored bow but likely wrapped in a modest box with a refined ribbon.

Although leadership expresses itself in casting vision, building effective teams, setting goals, solving problems, and inspiring teams to action, I propose most people would describe leadership by the attributes of a leader who casts vision and inspires people to change.  While many give leadership recognition to the person who articulates the vision, Hybels (2009) describes 10 key leadership styles that are required for any organization to grow.  Which ones can you identify on your team?

  • Visionary: casts vision; draws people in
  • Directional: chooses the right path at critical junctures
  • Strategic: align teams and breaks an exciting vision into actionable steps
  • Management: organizes people, processes, and resources to achieve the mission
  • Motivational: keeps the team fired up
  • Shepherding: builds, nurtures, supports, and listens to the team
  • Team-building: finds and develops the right people with the right characteristics, character, and chemistry, and puts them in the right positions to get the right results
  • Entrepreneurial: possesses many leadership styles but optimally functions in start-up mode
  • Re-engineering: thrives on turning around teams who struggle because they are missing a leadership element
  • Bridge-building: deals with complexity and brings many groups under a single leadership umbrella

I believe great leadership involves building an organization, where all the leadership styles are represented and recognized for their contribution.  No leadership style is more important than another, because failure in one area impacts a company’s ability to achieve their goals.  A company is only as successful as the sum of its parts or as strong as its weakest link.

Each leadership style has a critical mission to accomplish.  Do you know your primary leadership styles and how they impact your organization?  I suggest all leaders answer these three questions for themselves:

  1. On a scale of 1-10, what is your ability on each of the 10 leadership styles?
  2. Does your current position allow you to drive on your leadership strengths?
  3. If not, how can you use more of your leadership strengths in your current role?



Hybels, B. (2009). Courageous Leadership: Field-Tested Strategy for the 360o Leader.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

HE21118Davis_07-medAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in business development and leadership.  She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops that address her clients’ specific  business needs.  Reach out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741 to further the conversation and determine how she can help you grow your business.

Why Employees Should Have Access to a Professional Coach!

Good coach

Many organizations struggle with how to integrate, align, and achieve the full potential from their employees. For many employers, this struggle has intensified with multiple generational cohorts (Baby Boomers, Gen-Xer’s, and Millennials) in the workforce, who have different identities, motivations, and preferences in how to work, lead, and be led. The challenge is how can the contributions of all employees and leaders be acknowledged, appreciated, and rewarded.

Education around generational differences helps to create respect and harmony which ultimately builds a solid foundation for organizational success. Leadership development and coaching then help employees become more sensitive to workplace diversity while promoting deeper and more productive engagement. These intentional initiatives result in higher levels of performance.

As the Millennial workforce population continues to increase, the influence of their general expectations continues to be felt by employers and managers. As a generational identity, Millennials typically value leaders who listen, push them to achieve more, take the time to develop a professional relationship, and provide feedback. In contrast, over the past two decades, technology developments and pushes for productivity have forced managers to take on more administrative activities at the expense of mentoring and coaching their direct reports.

A professional coach can help his/her organization leverage cohort diversity. Leadership is not a position but a way of being and behaving, and a coach can help managers, teams and individuals become aware of the generational dynamics and how to leverage these differences. Development and leadership coaching should not be for select senior leaders but a resource available to all professional employees.  When an employee improves, the company wins. When employees are coached, they typically feel better about their working environment, become more engaged in supporting the team, and have a higher probability of achieving their goals. A professional coach delivers an investment grade ROI by partnering with organizations to develop a workforce that delivers higher levels of performance.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, leadership expert, and consultant with an extensive background in business development.  She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates specific workshops that address her clients’ business needs.  Reach out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741 to further the conversation and determine how she can help you grow your business.