Leadership styles (for sw development)

Let's take a look at different styles of leadership at work. And how they work. And what are the different outcomes for each different style.  This video is quite interesting and pretty practical.

One style of leadership is leading the team to "play by the book", or you can say by following the plan. No interpretation, only execution.  An opposite style is not to give detailed instructions, don't ask to play by the book, instead push the team to listen and adapt: let team members listening to each other and to the ongoing project, and the leader is there to correct mistakes when needed. It is not only about execution now, it's about the interpretation the team make of their project.

Another style of leadership is a directive style, to tell the team what to do with clear instructions, and in extreme case maybe also with sanctions. The leader is the one who is responsible, the one who own the project, and his is going to be the only story to be told. An opposite style is to open a space for the team to put the interpretation, is about creating a process and also creates the conditions in which this process takes place. A process leadership, where the team is autonomous and creative and therefore can succeed and be happy and proud of the successful of their work.

And after this, there is the point where the story telling, the project, is not about the leader or the partnership between the leader and the team anymore. Things are reversed, the team become the storyteller and the audience, the users the customers and the stakeholders, they go out of their regular and become part of the story, of the project. Now the leader is leading without doing.  The leader can give away control and let good things happen.

"We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it."
-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Here is the video (link):

This video can help to discover what's your own style of leadership, what characteristics and outcome have each style. You can wonder how conducting an Orchestra can be related to leadership. What I couldn't figured out is the evolutionary explanation of the music as a social skill meant to build empathy, coordinate and synchronize a group toward a common goal. That is the root of leadership.

It is interesting to know that different person can prefer to be lead by different style of leadership. It can be a personal preference. You can read that from here starting from page 9:

Another interesting thing is about the task.
What about software developments where the work require complex cognitive abilities, conceptual and creative thinking ?
Here the 3 factors that lead to the best performances: Autonomy (desire do be self directed), Mastery (the urge to get better at stuff) and Purpose (a way to get better). So this also suggest what could be the more appropriate leadership style for software development.

Here the video about this :

Print | posted @ sabato 12 febbraio 2011 04:28

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