Directive leadership is employed when you want to sustain momentum in your organization. Directive leaders employ very specific tools in order to get the results they need. It’s not the only way or the best way to keep momentum moving, but it certainly has a long history and it has been employed both successfully and unsuccessfully.
Here are 10 signs you are a directive leader:
1. You prefer to go full steam ahead: As a directive leader you have a set of goals and a concrete plan. You will rarely allow the goals or the plan to be openly or routinely questioned once they are in place.
2. You do it by the numbers: You will make sure that every task you work toward is by the book or has worked before.
3. You think that people aren’t motivated: As a directive leader you assume that your subordinates are not self-motivated and are too comfortable with inertia and uncertainty.
4. You think people must be driven/directed: You make sure that everyone is supervised and is given a task.
5. You appreciate the need for accountability, predictability, and routinization: Without accountability, predictability, and routinization you will won’t be able to gauge who does what and when. You value a system that can be gauged and measured.
6. You feel like you can maximize momentum by maximizing control: The notion that the more you control leads to continued or increased momentum is the backbone of your management philosophy.
7. You believe in a stable environment: Directive leaders work best in an environment where few variables, such as risk and market volatility, exist. The more stable conditions are the more comfortable you are.
8. You like to take charge at the get-go: You don’t sit around and wait to establish your supervision and begin making people accountable.
9. You’re not concerned with flexibility: If innovation and adaptability are your concerns you are not a directive leader. You’re a directive leader if you assign tasks designed to accomplish specific goals.
10. You have no problem with hierarchy: The chain of command and hierarchy play vital roles for your goal set or plan. Without them, the distribution of tasks would be difficult or impossible.