Choosing Your Leadership Hat Based on the Situation at Hand

To be effective and rise to the various challenges their teams encounter, leaders must be fundamentally flexible. To put on the right leadership style to get the results they need for their teams, it’s up to leaders to understand the unique ways in which each situation should be handled.

In the following post by Arden Coaching, we’ll dive a little deeper into why being a successful leader demands switching hats based on the situation at hand.

Different Goals Require Different Leadership Hats

As a leader, your job is to be effective in reaching the goal at hand. Often, this requires a varied approach. These goals don’t necessarily have to be about the bottom line. They might include results for the company, developmental results for your people, or creating a culture that’s a fun place to work.

To pursue these goals, you need to bring forth different strengths, tendencies, and knowledge, to accomplish each one, each a variant of your go-to leadership style.

An Example Leadership Scenario

Let’s say you’re the leader of several teams of newly promoted managers who have never held management-level positions before. Their new role on their respective teams expects them to delegate work, coach their direct reports, and assume all responsibilities of a successful manager, except they’re stepping into it for the first time.

Some new managers might be eager and excited about their promotions but may not have any of the skills they need, while there are sure to be others who have a better grasp on how to get started but lack the enthusiasm and confidence to make it happen.

An effective leader would put on a different hat based on what each new manager needs. It might go something like this:

  • Hat 1: These individuals need more training to do their actual job.
  • Hat 2: These people need a little encouragement because they have the skills but they’re just doubtful about working with new people.
  • Hat 3: This person needs some type of tough feedback delivered in a way that’s clear and straightforward.

Listen Up, Leaders: A Word on the Tough Love Hat

One of the biggest challenges leaders face is when they put their own personal comfort, interest, or concerns before Circumstantial Leaderthat of the team or company. Despite the fact that delivering rough performance feedback is something no one wants to do, having difficult conversations is undeniably a part of being a leader. If you’re not willing to give important feedback (the goodand the bad), you’ll always be back-peddling rather than moving forward.

You have to realize that if you aren’t able to put on your tough love hat because you’re uncomfortable, you’re not serving the company or being objective with your people.

Hats Off to You!

As a leader, you have to wear different hats at different times, but all of it is about being effective. Use your goals and company values as a compass when picking the right hat for the situation at hand and see how far you go.

If you’re having trouble identifying which hat to use when or need help with taking your needs out of tough conversations, we can help. Contact an Arden coach today.


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