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How predictable is your leadership style?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 150,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How predictable is your leadership style?

  • Most of the time I’m predictable, but I occasionally surprise people: 68%
  • My team always knows what to expect from me and how I lead: 29%
  • I’m completely unpredictable, and my leadership style is not clear to most others: 2%
  • I’m mostly unpredictable, and my team reacts to my shifts in style: 1%

People don’t like surprises at work. Being predictable in how you lead enables your team to focus on their work rather than wondering how you’ll react to things they do. A consistent and predictable leadership style helps your team make decisions in your absence. It also builds trust between you and your team members. If they know what they’re going to get in any given interaction, they’re more likely to trust you than if you surprise them with an unexpected reaction (even if that surprise happens only occasionally). Spend some time defining your leadership style and explaining it to your team. It’s a good place to start building trust.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders.