LEAD. -Week 3-Discussion-Leadership Styles
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The two types of dissonant leadership styles that Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2013)
identify are the commanding style and the pacesetting style. While it is easy to dismiss the
dissonant styles as ineffectual, there are circumstances in which the leader may find the
dissonant styles to be quite helpful. Admittedly, such circumstances are rare.
The leader may use the pacesetting style during the entrepreneurial phase of the business
life cycle. This stage is typically characterized by rapid growth. Pacesetting would also work in
technical fields where professionals are all highly skilled. In such cases, pacesetting would yield
spectacular results work would get done on time and it might even be possible to beat
deadlines (Goleman et al., 2013).
To get positive results from the pacesetting style, the leader needs to apply the
achievement competence and initiative. However, it is important to balance the pacesetting style
with empathy (Goleman et al., 2013). This is because the pacesetting style, left unchecked, has
the capacity to place undue demands on employees and consequently cause distress. The ability
to communicate effectively and to collaborate with others is also required.
The command-and-control style can be especially useful in times of crisis (Goleman et
al., 2013). Due to its forceful nature, the commanding style may be used by the leader to jar
complacent employees out of their complacency and into new ways of doing things. Goleman et
al. (2013) also assert that the commanding style of leadership may be necessary in a genuine
emergency such as a hurricane or a fire.
The emotional intelligence competencies on which the commanding style is based are
initiative, achievement, and influence. However, it is also important to temper the forcefulness of
the commanding style by applying empathy, self-awareness, and emotional self-control.
Goleman et al. (2013) emphasize that emotional self-control is perhaps the most important
competency if the commanding style is to be executed aright.
The prudence to distinguish between the leadership styles and determine which is
appropriate for the situation is a crucial skill for a leader. Dissonant styles, used with caution, can
be handy tools in the leadership toolbox.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of
emotional intelligence. Boston, MA.: Harvard Business School Press.

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