Pacesetting Leadership Style

The Pacesetting leadership style is very results focused, it focuses on the end result more than the way the results are achieved. Leaders using the pacesetting leadership lifestyle expect excellent performance from their teams when results are below expectations the leader will often jump up to pick up the slack. Due to this “follow my lead” approach each individual is held accountable to the leader’s high standards. 

Used Correctly:

This works well with a highly competent team that is well motivated and well trained.

⇒ This style of leadership will not work well with an unconfident team who lack experience or motivation

Use when needing to improve performance to deliver short term goals

How to Improve Pacesetting Style Leadership

Pacesetting requires you to identify the low hanging fruit and the quick wins, you need to set targets correctly to deliver these short term results and monitor your performance closely and adjust your team’s course as required. 

How you process failure is also very important in keeping your team engaged if you have misjudged your people’s ability level and they fail then the failure is your responsibility and you need to take the correct action. The leader seeing the failure as their own means the correct action can be taken to fix the issue (the team needs a smaller challenge or more support and training) this stops the usual “being stuck in a loop of continuous failure” caused by blaming the team. 

Like most leadership styles Pacesetting leadership works best when people performing the task understand why there is a need for a change or to improve performance so take the time to explain why it is important. When people know why something is important they will be better motivated to complete the task well.

Top Tips Using the Pacesetting Leadership Style

  1. Breakdown result into smaller targets and monitor performance, making adjustments as required
  2. Take the time to explain why the change or improvement is important.
  4. Ensure your people are capable of achieving the task if they fail because of a skill set shortfall you need to increase support or reduce the challenge.

The pacesetting leadership style gets results and quickly so it is tempting to overuse this leadership style. Although this may seem advantageous to continue using it is only effective in the short term and will have a negative impact over the long term if continuously used. 

Use this leadership style correctly and moderately. Where a team lacks the capability to deliver the result you want, one of the other Leadership styles such as the Coaching Leadership Style would be beneficial until that skill gap has been closed.

Daniel Goleman’s 6 Leadership Styles

For more information about the advantages and disadvantages of each of the different leadership styles and to see examples of how each of the leadership styles can be used effectively click through each of the links below.

  1. Commanding Leadership Style
  2. Visionary Leadership Style
  3. Affiliative Leadership Style
  4. Democratic Leadership Style
  5. Pacesetting Leadership Style
  6. Coaching Leadership Style

Which is the best leadership style?

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