The way that you keep your personal workspace, home, and appearance say a lot about your leadership style. There are four basic styles of leadership - steward, diplomat, idealist, and pragmatist. If your desk is a bit untidy, it can still be seen as positive as it displays creativity. Those with obsessive organization practices can be seen as stuffy and unapproachable.

Neat and Tidy

A neat and tidy home, personal appearance, and workspace often says that you are a strong leader that follows the rules by the book. It also says that you focus heavily on achieving results, meeting goals, and growing your career. This leadership style is demanding and often comes with a lot of stress.

Leading by example, with a tidy office space and relating your successful leadership skills to being neat and organized can be a good thing. This conveys the message that being neat and tidy helps you maintain efficiency and high productivity since everything you need is where it should be. Once your team sees that this is effective, they will follow suit and boost the company's overall performance.

Messy and Disorganized

Those in leadership roles that look a bit unkempt with wrinkled clothing, messy workspaces, and cluttered homes are thought to be poor leaders. A mess often displays that you are very laid-back - the diplomat leadership style. It also leads to disorganized thoughts, frequent distractions, and the inability to complete tasks on time. In studies, it was concluded that 88-percent of participant's report hindrances to productivity, learning, and concentration in dirty working conditions.

On the bright side, being slightly disorganized may display that you are very creative. Creative minds often use their photographic memories to remember where a file was stored by picturing the process of saving the file, as an example. In the marketing/advertising world, a bit of disorganization in your personal workspace means that you likely have multiple projects occurring at one time. It may help obtain a creative idea for one project by working on another.

Commit to Making Lifestyle Changes

If your leadership style or practices are not what you expected them to be, make some lifestyle changes. Start with your habits at home. If you keep an untidy home and let laundry build-up before breaking down to complete it, consider bringing in a professional cleaning service so that you can return to a clean, tidy home every day. This will help you keep your workspace clean, focus more on being productive and developing innovative solutions to workplace issues.

A clean home leads to a cleaner, more polished appearance and stronger work ethic to achieve real results.

Avoid Being the Diplomat

The diplomat leadership style is not where you want to be, but is often the result of those with relaxed lifestyles and few actual career goals. Those categorized as diplomatic leaders are often victims of peer pressure, show lack of motivation, and spend more time being social than professional.

One main benefit of being categorized as the diplomat is that most are people persons, meaning that issues are often resolved with peaceful conversations rather than blown-up confrontations. This helps keep a peaceful work environment but lacks the display of authoritative problem solving skills.

The diplomat leadership style includes characteristics of being easily distracted, folding under pressure, and inability to follow through. When a leader is unable to follow through with changing workplace practices, implementing new employee guidelines, or giving consequences when necessary it tells the workforce that the leader does not care about his or her role in the company.

Untidiness Reduces Co-Worker Interaction Stress

If you have co-workers that you would rather not associate with, or spend as little time with as possible, you may want to keep an untidy workspace. In a recently completed study, it showed that 30-percent of workers are annoyed by the dirty or untidy workspaces of others. The ability to focus on work with fewer distractions means that your productivity increases and your co-worker interaction stress decreases.

This tactic can backfire. It may keep important clients away and may result in employee disconnection.

Conclusion

Take the time to complete a personal assessment of your daily habits. If your personal hygiene, home, and personal workspace are clean and tidy you are more likely to excel and achieve executive status than those with more relaxed lifestyle habits.

Some successful executives have an unbalanced work/life balance where personal life is a little messy, but business affairs are always in-order. This simply shows the qualities of a success-driven individual that focuses on results from concentrating on leading a team.

 

Published on: Jul 13, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.