Take This Quiz and Learn Your Leadership Style

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by Johnell Woody

Cook & James is committed to building relationships in the community and wants to spotlight our partners -- realtors, brokers, agents, and other industry experts – as guests on our blog. Previous guest posts have featured Judge Parker, Tim Hur, and Mario Fermin. Today, in our ongoing guest blog series Johnell Woody, a respected Atlanta-area real estate educator, broker and consultant, provides insight on the leadership roles of real estate professionals in their communities whether they lead small groups of buyers and sellers or large offices with multiple team members and peers.

Leadership has been defined many ways. However, I think Northouse (2010) summed it up very well when he defined leadership as “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.” How a leader goes about this process of influencing and obtaining the common goal is a reflection of leadership style. And, there are almost as many theories of leadership style as there are definitions of leadership. The more recent theories of leadership focus on transformational leadership and transactional leadership styles.

Types of Leadership

Transactional leadership is focused on the exchange that occurs between a group of followers and a leader. For example, politicians win votes through promises to shrink government and end wasteful spending in return for votes. In other words, the focus is on the overall outcome, with less regard for the individuals.

Conversely, transformational leadership focuses on engagement with group members to create a connection which increases the level of motivation and value based decisions in both the leader and the follower. Transformational leadership is a process that encourages group members (followers) to be more and do more than just follow orders. By engaging the members -– by building relationships with group members -- while nurturing their strengths and helping them to improve in areas of weakness, the leader transforms the group. A transformational leader empowers (trusts) the group (or committee) to develop ideas, plan, and implement ideas with minimal oversight. In the process, the individuals in the group gain experience, confidence, and ownership of the finished product.

Take This Quiz

Not certain whether your style is transformational or transactional? Rate yourself on the following statements. A “0” rating = not at all; a “1” = occasionally; a “2” = sometimes; a “3” = fairly often; and, a “4” = frequently, if not always. Rate yourself for each of the following statements (Northouse, 2010).

  1. I go beyond self-interest for the good of the group

  2. I consider the moral and ethical consequences of decisions.

  3. I talk optimistically about the future.

  4. I reexamine critical assumptions to question whether
    they are appropriate.

  5. I help others to develop their strengths.

  6. I make clear what one can expect to receive when goals are achieved.

  7. I keep track of all mistakes.

  8. I wait for things to go wrong before taking action.

  9. I avoid making decisions.

This self-rater survey measures self-perception of your leadership behaviors and, thus, your leadership style. Your scores for statements #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 access transformational leadership attributes; your scores for statements #6 and #7 access transactional leadership attributes; and, your scores for statements #8 and #9 access passive/avoidant leadership style (not leading, just hoping for the best).

How Did You Do?

If you scored higher in transformational leadership attributes, congratulations! Current research has found women in leadership positions tend to prefer a transformational leadership style slightly more than their male counterparts, and that followers prefer to follow transformational leaders (Wu, 2010). If you rated yourself high for statements #8 and #9, consider taking a look at how well the goals you have set for your organization are being met. Not so good? Study the statements #1 through #5. See what behaviors you can comfortably adopt to be more proactive, without becoming controlling, to engage, empower, and educate, if necessary, the group members to achieve the common goal(s). If you rated yourself high for statements #6 and #7, your followers may find you more concerned about a specific outcome than about the overall good to the organization and/or its members.

Understanding your leadership style is the important first step in becoming an effective leader. Engaging with your group of followers will help you understand how they best respond to leadership. Some want autonomy, others want a blueprint -- as leader, it is up to you to “flex” your leadership style to ensure success of the whole, while nurturing the growth and development of each group member, if true leadership, rather than power, is your goal.

Ours is a world of different cultures coming closer and closer together to achieve common goals. This collection of cultures, according to Werhane’s (2007) claim, is the revised leadership mindset [transformational leadership] may best be “exemplified by women.” Is your leadership style all it can be?

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Johnell Woody, a real estate broker, manager, trainer, consultant and licensed instructor, currently serves as Director-At-Large and Education Committee Chair for the national Real Estate Educators Association (REEA), and Director of Communications and Website Committee Chair for Georgia Real Estate Educators Association (GREEA). She holds an Associates of Arts degree in Business, with a Real Estate Emphasis, from Cerritos College, CA, a Bachelor of Science from Kennesaw State University in Integrative Studies with concentrations in Psychology, Communication and Theatre, and a Masters of Arts in Integrated Global Communications. She is the state director for SUCCESS Real Estate School and the only Georgia instructor to graduate in the charter class of the REEA Gold Standard Instructor Certification Program. A lifelong learner, Johnell is a candidate for the prestigious DREI (Distinguished Real Estate Instructor) designation.