“The most effective leaders appear to exhibit a degree of versatility and flexibility that enables them to adapt their behavior to the changing and contradictory demands made on them.” Ralph Stogdill (The Leadership Handbook).

It’s one thing for a leader to recognize the styles they should use with their team to coincide with the members’ unique needs and situations; it’s quite another for a leader to actually apply these styles simultaneously and appropriately.As well as being able to assess their leadership behaviour and its impact on others, leaders must also carefully look at how they maintain and use power.

To influence the behaviour of others, a leader must first understand the effect that power has on leadership styles. It’s not a matter of how much power a leader has but rather how effectively a leader uses it. While leadership is about the process of influencing people, power can be described as a leader’s influence potential.

Those in positions of influence sometimes have difficulty distinguishing the right and wrong uses of power. In these situations, people view their managers as being control freaks who don’t wish to share power but who in the same breath talk about “empowering” their staff, yet in the end fail to align their words with their actions.