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The Myth of the Most Effective Leadership Styles

by | Jul 24, 2019

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What’s the best HBDI® profile for a leader?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked about the HBDI and leadership. We all want to know which is the best profile, and we all want to know if it’s ours. 

Fortunately for you, the answer we give is always the same: yours. Whatever it is!

There is no one size fits all effective leadership profile. Leadership is personal; it’s individual. The best leaders aren’t trying to be someone they’re not or to force-­fit themselves into a prescribed mould. They understand their own profile, they understand  ­who they are—and have learned how to leverage it.

How to be a more effective leader

So if there’s no single best profile for leaders, what’s the key to more effective leadership?

We have a saying at Herrmann: “you can be in whatever business you like, but doing business requires Whole Brain® Thinking. This same concept applies to leadership, too.

It doesn’t matter what your HBDI profile is—being a successful leader requires Whole Brain® Thinking. That means understanding both how you prefer to think and where your blind spots are so you can fully leverage your mental strengths and stretch outside them when necessary.

How does Whole Brain® Thinking help you become a better leader?

Applying Whole Brain® Thinking doesn’t require you to be someone you’re not. After all, you have access to your whole brain, not just the thinking styles you prefer the most. All modes of thinking are already there and available to you. Instead, Whole Brain® Thinking is about becoming highly skilled as a thinker and being able to situationally access the different thinking required to handle a given challenge.

This is the essence of Leadership Agility (the ability for leaders to anticipate challenges and make smart decisions), particularly in today’s knowledge-intensive world, where challenges are more complex and we need to take full advantage of our own diversity of thought as well as the thinking diversity around us.

How to use Whole Brain® Thinking to develop tomorrow’s Thought Leaders

Shifting thinking to match the needs of a situation is something anyone can learn how to do, and developing that skill ought to be a chief priority of every modern leadership development program.

So rather than concentrating on the most effective leadership styles, ground your leadership training and development efforts in practical ways to unleash your thinking capability.

Once you open leaders up to their full thinking potential and give them experience accessing and applying their own inherent thinking diversity, all of the modes of thinking will become more available to them on a daily basis.

Discover how to grow the thinking agility of your leaders and staff for more effective adaptability in a complex and ever-changing world

The idea isn’t to change the unchangeable but to help leaders take advantage of the flexibility we all have to become situationally more effective across the range of key leadership issues—and it’s a big range: strategic thinking, critical thinking, mindful focus, collaboration, empathy, problem-solving, intuitive thinking, conceptualising, dealing with ambiguity, visualising, creative processing and more.

Gives you a whole new perspective on the term Thought Leadership, doesn’t it?

Download our whitepaper to find out more.

This article was originally published in 2016. It has been updated in 2019 and republished to ensure our readers don’t miss out on valuable information. 

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