In business, good leadership is essential for success. Leaders set the tone for their organizations and influence the behaviour of employees. There are many different leadership styles, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
One example is pacesetting leadership. This kind of leadership style is where the leader sets the pace for the team. This style of leading a team can be very effective, but it also has its drawbacks. Knowing its pros and cons should help you decide if a pacesetting leadership style is right for your business.
The pros of a pacesetting leadership style
1. Passionate leaders and employees
Pacesetting leaders are typically very passionate about their work. They put their heart and soul into their projects and inspire their employees to do the same. This passion can be contagious and result in a highly motivated team working harder to succeed.
For example, in the early days of Apple, Steve Jobs was a pacesetting leader. His passion for technology and design inspired his team to create some of the most innovative products in the world. This kind of passion is what can make a pacesetting leadership style so effective.
2. High standards
High standards are at the core of a pacesetting leadership style. Leaders who adopt this style expect their employees to perform at a high level and meet stringent standards. While this can result in some friction, it usually leads to better quality work from employees because they know what is expected of them, so they work hard to meet those expectations.
Singapore’s SMRT Corporation Ltd., which runs the city’s Mass Rapid Transit system, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most efficient metro operators. The company’s success is due mainly to the high standards set by its pacesetting leaders, including its CEO, Neo Kian Hong.
3. Quick decision-making
Pacesetting leaders are known for their ability to make quick decisions. This is because they typically have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and are not afraid to take risks. This quick decision-making can be a significant advantage in fast-paced industries where decisions need to be made quickly to stay ahead of the competition.
In this style of leadership, the focus is on results. Pacesetting leaders are not concerned with how a project is completed, only that it is completed successfully. They are willing to take risks and make quick decisions to achieve the desired results.
For example, under the leadership of Jack Welch, General Electric became one of the most successful companies in the world. Welch was known for his focus on results, and he made numerous changes to GE’s business model to achieve the company’s goals.
The cons of a pacesetting
1. Demanding leaders
Pacesetting leaders can be very demanding. They expect their employees to work hard and meet high standards. This can lead to friction between leaders and employees and high levels of stress for employees. Some employees may feel they can never meet the standards set by their leaders, which can lead to frustration and poor job performance.
This is why it’s crucial for pacesetting leaders to be clear about their expectations and to provide employees with the resources they need to meet those expectations.
2. Fast-paced environment
The quick decision-making and focus on results associated with a pacesetting leadership style can create a fast-paced and stressful environment where employees feel like they can never take a break. This high-pressure environment can lead to burnout and lower quality work. While some employees may thrive in this kind of environment, others may find it too exhausting.
Leaders must be ready to deal with the negative consequences of a pacesetting leadership style, such as high-stress levels and employee turnover. Or, if they value employee satisfaction and retention, they may want to consider taking a few steps back whenever possible to give their employees some breathing room.
3. No room for error
Due to the fast-paced and demanding nature of a pacesetting leadership style, there is little room for error. Workers who make mistakes are often reprimanded or even fired. This can lead to a fear of failure among employees, which can stifle creativity and innovation.
4. Poor communication
Finally, pacesetting leaders often have poor communication skills. They may be so focused on their vision that they fail to explain it to their employees. They expect employees to know what needs to be done and how to do it without much guidance. This lack of communication can lead to misunderstanding and frustration for employees.
Pacesetting leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on results and quick decision-making. This leadership style can be effective in fast-paced industries where decisions need to be made quickly. However, pacesetting leaders must be aware of the potential negatives of their leadership style, such as high levels of stress for employees and poor communication.