7 Key Management Styles in 2018. How to Become the Best Boss Ever?


  • Author Alexey Chepalov
  • Published September 22, 2018
  • Word count 1,105

Let’s keep it simple. There are basically two management styles – "bossy" and "buddy".

All managers are drifting between these extremes looking for the best approach in their particular cases. For you to choose the right management style, I’d like to share some insights, expert tips and stories. Hope you’ll find them helpful!

But, first, a little disclosure. I’m writing about management styles because our Chanty team is curious about every aspect of team interaction. Understanding it helps us in designing a better communication tool for our customers – a fast, smart and AI-powered Chanty team chat. For now, Chanty is in beta, but you can already give it a spin. Become one of our early adopters – it’s free!

Management styles: what’s the gist?

Before we get to what’s working in management styles, let’s consider what’s not.

Jack Griffin, ex-CEO of TIME

Jack Griffin

ex-CEO of TIME Inc.

Image source

Here’s a story:

In 2010, TIME Inc., the world’s largest magazine publisher, got a new Chief Executive – Jack Griffin. To put it mildly, his appointment didn’t work out well. As NY Times reported, employees described Jack’s leadership style as "brusque". He implemented "swift and sweeping" changes "without communicating his purpose well", "undermining his team’s confidence in their abilities". Apparently, he didn’t fit the corporate culture and showed himself as an inflexible leader. In February 2011, Jack Griffin was forced out of Time Inc. after less than six months in office.

Using this story as an example, it’s easy to consider the main points about management styles:

Your management style matters. We can hear some leaders say: "I just hire the best people and get out of their way." Well, sometimes it can work this way, but not always. Jack Griffin from our story was an experienced professional with the proven track record. But, apparently, he didn’t understand his hires and didn’t manage to find the best way to communicate with them, which was crucial.

Your management style is not defined by your temperament. Though you can lean towards one of the approaches, each style is actually within your power. Since Jack Griffin from Time INC. had the "brusque" management style, we may assume he is a hot-tempered guy. However, it shouldn’t have been a hindrance to his management.

Different tasks, situations and people can require different management styles. There’s no universal approach that suits any case. Experts claim the best strategy is to switch between the management styles depending on the circumstances. Back to our example with Jack Griffin, his approach to management could be exercised successfully in a different context.

Management styles are rapidly evolving and constantly changing. How? Well, let’s see…

In the beginning, I mentioned there are basically two management styles – "bossy" and "buddy". We could also use terms like "dominant" and "prestige". While "dominant" means you want to be in control of everything, "prestige" is a more "hands-off" approach. So here’s the deal: "prestige" management styles – the ones that give workers more freedom – are becoming more widespread nowadays. The old-school management with carrots and sticks is considered to kill work culture. However, dominant styles are still exercised and even recommended in some cases.

So here’s the list of 7 most commonly used management styles in 2018: 2 of them are the dominant ones, while 5 others are prestige. I’ll rely heavily on David Goleman landmark classification of management styles, as well as on some other expert’s opinions. We won’t discuss laissez-faire or neurotic management styles, but will rather focus on what can work.

Dominant styles

Coercive style

Key features. "Do what I say". That’s a message you give to your hires using this approach. This is one of the harshest and most direct management styles. Not only coercive leaders state an overall goal, they also define means to reach it, according to David Goleman classification. Employees have no choice but to snap a salute like Dwight Schrute on this Gif.

Coercive style

Image source

Coercive style represents a traditional top-down management model still widely used all over the world. It aligns with many similar approaches, such as authoritative, autocratic and structural. All of them have a common feature – the power is exercised strongly. It seems like a really old-school approach and needs to be used wisely.

When do I use it?

In a turnaround situation, a natural disaster, or when working with problem employees

What are the risks?

Can lead to damaging behavior like bullying

You can sap employees’ motivation and vision and inhibit the organization’s flexibility

No-nonsense style

Key features. Expect the high level of performance. Never tolerate mediocrity. Always win a meeting. These concepts were featured in 1977 No-Nonsense Management book written by Richard S. Sloma, who actually coined the term. It’s a harsh, practical and down-to-earth approach that echoes the coercive style.

Henry A. Kissinger with subordinates

Henry A. Kissinger with subordinates

Image source

Here’s a story:

In his book, Richard S. Sloma tells a story about Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser. Once he asked his aide for a report – a man wrote it. "Is this the best plan you can devise?", Kissinger asked. After receiving the negative answer, he refused to read it. This happened a few times. The employee spent more than a month sleeping in his own office working on the document. Kissinger read it only when his aide was sure he’d done a perfect job.

The no-nonsense style is a salute from a corporate culture of Reagan-era. But funny thing – it bounces back nowadays. As market competition spins off, businesses do their best to perfect their products. So many current leaders are claimed to use the no-nonsense approach.

Kazuhiro Tsuga, Panasonic CEO

Kazuhiro Tsuga

Panasonic CEO

Image source

Here’s a story:

In autumn 2012, Panasonic got a new president Kazuhiro Tsuga. NY Times described his management style as "no-nonsense". The thing is Mr. Tsuga made some tough decisions. He cut manager’s bonuses, killed off weak units and beat a company’s path away from consumer electronics. However, due to his policies, Panasonic managed to face intense competition with a bloated business portfolio and weakened finances. As of July 2018, Kazuhiro Tsuga remains Panasonic’s CEO.

When do I use it?

When your goals are clear, they need to be reached fast and your hires are motivated enough to do so

What are the risks?

Your high standards can demotivate workers and leave them shamefaced

To continue reading please check: https://www.chanty.com/blog/key-management-styles/

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