Describe Your Leadership Style

February 14, 2023by Tim Finnegan0

Recently I came across a job ad for a Vice President role at a Fortune 500 tech company. The job ad had all the traditional requirements such as degrees, years  and types of experiences (profit & loss, communication and presentation skills, etc.).

What stood out to me, however, were the next set of skills the ideal candidate should possess.

  • High Emotional Intelligence (EQ) that enables close working relationships with key leaders worldwide.
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity, solve complex problems, across a large organization and highly distributed team.
  • Ability to lead and influence outcomes leading cross-functional and/or multi-functional teams

The obvious follow-up question to the candidate would be “How?” Through examples the candidate is being asked to describe their leadership style.

Your leadership style matters. Korn Ferry CEO Gary Burnison urges leaders to periodically evaluate their leadership styles. He goes on to say “up to 70% of an organization’s climate can be determined simply by leadership style, and the best leaders know how to toggle among multiple styles depending on the situation.”

Different styles have different strengths and weaknesses relative to human connection and engagement with followers. Therefore, it is important for leaders to understand their own leadership style, and to understand the natural behaviors of others. By doing this, you will know which style is suitable for different members of your team and be able to adapt your approach accordingly. This will make you more effective as a leader, improving motivation and driving success.

Leadership styles are not something that you can just choose – they are not like choosing your car or your favorite color. They are your natural style that influence how you handle situations. It depends on your emotions, self-awareness, and empathy. In other words, your emotional intelligence or EQ.

Leaders with high EQ are more likely to have good relationships with the people they lead. They understand what makes their team tick and what resonates with them most. This means the leader’s self-awareness is crucial to creating relationships where trust can be gained and fostered.

A leader with high EQ skills can create a connection with people, have them trust them, and follow them without asking for anything in return. These types of leaders can help those around them grow into leaders themselves.

So I ask again, describe your leadership style.


Tim Finnegan

Tim Finnegan founded Aisling Executive Coaching Ltd. in 2018. It is a natural evolution of 40 years of experience in sales, operations, marketing, management, and leadership development. As an executive coach, Tim works with executives and high potential employees to help them gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their leadership development objectives and unlock their potential as leaders.

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