Adaptive Leadership: Choosing the Right Style for Your Team

Market problems, customer needs, and everything in between have become increasingly diverse. It is widely known that the speed of change has accelerated rapidly since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the past, you could reasonably estimate what your sales prospects would be by running your business in a similar manner during the same period as you did the previous year and by using collected data as a reference. However, now, even if you follow the same process, you may not generate sales as expected because consumer consciousness is changing rapidly.



Instead of relying on past practices, leaders must be adaptable and proactive in responding to change. The top-down management style of leaders who make decisions alone is no longer effective in today's rapidly changing world.


What is needed is teamwork. By combining the strengths of team members, leaders can solve complex problems and achieve results in response to the rapid pace of change.


Executives and managers have two main responsibilities:

  • Management
  • Leadership


As defined in the dictionary, “management” is the act of “managing”. While leaders should oversee the progress of work, this alone is insufficient to achieve good results.


Rather, it is necessary to increase the motivation of each team member (employee) and build a team with good teamwork. This is because motivated and well-coordinated teams produce better results.


“Leadership” is “the ability to lead an organization”. Leadership is not an innate ability; but a skill that can be learned and developed.




 There are three main leadership styles: top-down, bottom-up, and coach. Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the style that best suits the situation and needs of your team.


1)Top-down Leadership

This leadership style involves the leader making all the decisions and giving instructions to the team.

It is effective in situations where quick decisions are needed or when the organization is still in its early startup stage. However, if employees are told to only perform what they are instructed to, this may lead to a lack of motivation. Plus, leaders who practice top-down may tend to become dictatorial which may result in high turnover among team members.



2) Bottom-Up Leadership

In contrast to top-down, this style involves the leader gathering input from the team and making decisions collaboratively.

 As an employee, to have your opinions considered is great to increase motivation within the team. This approach is likely to generate more new ideas and it provides each team member with a sense of ownership. However, gathering and consolidating everyone's input can be time-consuming and slow down processes, making it ineffective for urgent situations.



3) Coach Leadership

Coach leadership involves the leader working with individual team members to help them develop their skills and reach their full potential, empowering them to act on their own.

It can be a very effective way to build a strong and cohesive team. However, coach leadership can be time-consuming and challenging to implement, and it requires the leader to have strong interpersonal skills.



Leaders who can adapt their leadership style to the needs of their team in today’s rapidly changing world will be best positioned to build a strong, high-performing team, whilst simultaneously reducing turnover, and improve performance.