Eclectic leadership simply means that you don't ascribe to one single way of leading and having an open mind to possibilities. Importantly it allows for spontaneity, and a more natural leadership style to come through.
Now this doesn’t mean that you don’t have the bigger picture in mind or a strategy for where you are leading the team. This is still an essential requirement…but how you get your team to the end goal is where being eclectic can be a huge advantage. Take the bridge in this photograph; the big picture is to get across the river, and I'm sure that the people who built this bridge would have liked to have had timber, nails and a range of tools at their disposal. However what is clear is that whilst this wasn't the case, the people who built this drew on the resources and experience available to achieve the goal.
So what does being eclectic mean?
I will leave this insight with a different way of thinking about leadership and being eclectic. Imagine the song, ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’. I can guarantee that if you have attended half a dozen jazz festivals that you have heard this tune played in half a dozen different ways. Yet each time you heard it you knew the name of the tune and how it would end (‘the bigger picture’)…and the journey that each of the jazz groups took to achieve the final note was most likely very different. However the big question is this…were any of these versions the ‘wrong’ version? No, of course not. Each group simply played the tune to suit their personality and the experience within the band. The same goes for choosing your leadership style.
Be eclectic, and lead to your own tune.
Author: David Morley
David is a developer of global-minded and engaging leaders.