As great branch managers understand, leadership is about more than just tackling basic management responsibilities. The best leaders know that it’s important to lead with intention and work on their own improvement, as well as that of their team. Much of your success as a manager has to do with your leadership style. Often, managers develop a style by default and stick with it, even if it’s not the most effective. Adopting one single leadership style can be stifling and prevent you from reaching your maximum potential as a manager. Certain situations and employees require different leadership strategies at different times. To expand your range, start incorporating some of the best leadership styles into your day-to-day managing.
This leadership style is all about including your team of employees in the decision-making process. Rather than simply giving orders and expecting your team to follow, collaborative leadership welcomes the input of your team members. This style can be very successful for mortgage branch managers because it allows for group problem-solving and creativity. It’s one of the more participative and democratic leadership styles, and it typically leads to higher employee job satisfaction. Employees feel like their ideas have value to the team. One of the only downsides to this style is that decision-making may be slower than a less collaborative approach, but this is balanced by the potential for much higher productivity and innovation.
This leadership style places a high value on employees as people. It focuses on investing in team members’ growth and development, and it values people over profits. Managers who operate in a people-centric way work to organize their team and support them in their daily tasks. Mortgage managers who lead in this way will often have much more loyal and dedicated employees who feel important to and invested in the branch. This people-oriented management style also typically fosters better teamwork and productivity. Leading in a people-oriented way is a good ethical practice, and it also helps the branch financially. Holding on to great employees is much more cost effective than hiring again and again.
Commanding leadership is one of the more traditional styles. It may sound more negative than others, but the successful use of commanding leadership depends on context. It means leading in a way where you clearly define your expectations and carefully instruct your team. It’s also referred to as “transactional” leadership: the manager outlines what they’d like done, and their employees are rewarded for completing things. This style is useful because it allows for more clarity about employee roles and expectations. It’s best used in specific, short-term tasks or projects or with employees who tend to need a little hand-holding. This “one-way interaction” style of leading isn’t typically effective when used all the time. If you overdo it and lead in this way for all tasks, it can cause your employees to feel unsatisfied.
Leaders are sometimes perceived as authoritative figures, but often the most effective ones are quieter and more behind the scenes. This leadership style is one where managers allow space for employees to take action on their own. After defining expectations and training their team, leaders in this style are a bit more hands-off. The main way they effectively influence their team’s productivity is through leading by example. This isn’t to say a quiet leadership style means being walked over or neglecting to actually manage; it simply allows for an environment where employees can think and work independently.
Leading with charisma can be instrumental to branch culture and success. This isn’t about “schmoozing” or having the right words to say. It’s about being a great teacher, with the ability to convey information and ideas smoothly. It’s also about having the energy to get your team inspired and motivated to succeed. Though charisma may seem like an innate skill, leaders can often work on becoming more personable and improving their communication skills to succeed in managing their team more successfully.
As a branch manager, your leadership style is very important — it helps to define your role and can make you feel more effective and fulfilled in your career. The key is to stay open to multiple leadership styles. It’s often more productive for your team when you incorporate different styles depending on the given situation. Great leaders know how to blend different leadership styles together, tapping into their strengths and using them to the best of their ability.