Different work situations call for different leadership styles, and most managers use one of two approaches: dominance or prestige. When you lead through dominance, you influence others by being assertive and leveraging your power and formal authority. This approach works best when your job is to get everyone aligned and moving in the same direction. When there is a clear strategy for a new product launch, for example, and the challenge is in getting your team to enact that vision, dominance is an effective way to create a unified front. Prestige, in contrast, means influencing others by displaying signs of wisdom and expertise and being a role model. This approach works best when you’re trying to empower the people who report to you. If a marketing team is charged with creating an innovative advertising campaign, for example, a prestigious leader can release the constraints on team members and encourage them to think outside the box. Maturing as a leader means being able to diagnose what type of leadership is needed and deploying the strategy that is likely to work best.
Adapted from “Good Bosses Switch Between Two Leadership Styles,” by Jon Maner