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Frontline Fundamentals: Leadership Styles and the Art of Flexecution


This series of articles began with “Developing a Complete Definition of Leadership” (see, in which I defined leadership as influence and discussed how the measure of a leader is the performance of their team. We also talked about the fact that many leaders in our industry came up through the ranks in a culture of autocratic leadership and that many people in leadership positions never received any leadership training. That has led to leadership being incompletely defined as telling people what to do and threatening them with consequences if they don’t comply.

That bears repeating: It is an incomplete definition of leadership – not an incorrect definition.

Successful leaders understand a term a friend of mine taught me: “flexecution.” Essentially, it is the act of adapting to the methods used to achieve a goal without sacrificing standards. In terms of leadership, flexecuting means using a variety of leadership styles based on different people and circumstances.

In order to effectively utilize different leadership styles, you must understand that:

  • Everyone is equal but no two people are the same.
  • Your leadership should never be about you unless you are looking for someone to blame.
  • There is no correct leadership style.
  • You typically will use a combination of leadership styles.

Before we discuss any specific leadership styles, I want to clarify the goal of this article. It is not intended to be a complete and comprehensive list of leadership styles. You don’t need to memorize anything. The goal is for you to be able to think critically about what actions would be the most appropriate for a given person or group of people in a given set of circumstances, and then act intentionally based on that analysis. It might even make sense to call them leadership strategies rather than styles.

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