What is your leadership style and how does it inspire (or deflate) your team? A winery's culture is influenced by its team members, but begins with the owner or operator's vision for leadership. As many proprietors enter the industry with a vision to make (rather than sell) wine, leadership style may be a secondary consideration or ignored all together. Those who do thoughtfully construct a vision and corresponding plan to achieve it tend to enjoy better results according to my experience in the industry.
A recent HBS article by Mitch Maidique examines the six styles of leadership as determined by his Purpose-Driven model. For wineries with complex teams including vineyard, production, sales, finance and marketing, the Level 5 Builder is my recommendation. This style looks beyond the Achiever at level 4, who is driven by goal setting and winning, adding a broader approach to "build an institution". A Builder never reaches the end point-- successful and motivating leadership is a process that requires research, planning, motivation for execution, and reflection. Builders "...have a grand vision for the future of their organizations, and they infect others with their energy, enthusiasm, and integrity."
Maidique notes that people are a blend of the six styles, so there is an element of nature versus nurture at work -- personality and choice affect leadership style. Since leadership is both a process and mindset, it is important to be aware of your leadership tendencies, and develop a proactive plan to become or enhance the style that will best suit your business.
Some of my favorite books on leadership include John Wooden'sWooden on Leadership and Good to Great by Jim Collins. Gaining knowledge about leadership best practices is an excellent start. The next step is to use independent research to evaluate your company's leadership strengths and challenges, cooperation between team members, and cultural dynamic. I thoroughly enjoy offering these services and learn immensely each time I'm involved in a visionary project.
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