What Kind of Leader Are You?

wrote a great little post over at his blog, check it out:

The four styles I most often observe include:

  1. Relational leaders: These leaders motivate others through personal connections.
  2. Visionary leaders: These leaders move people by painting a picture of what “could be.”
  3. Administrative leaders: These leaders move the ball forward by organizing groups of people with clear boundaries, expectations, and accountability.
  4. Innovative leaders: These leaders find new ways to accomplish old objectives.

Although no leader should be boxed into one style, recognizing and capitalizing on strengths and style can be extremely helpful. This week we’ll spend some time discussing each style.

What is your dominant and secondary style of those listed?

I can tell you without a doubt that I am mostly #2. I get a very clear picture in my mind of what could be, or of what should be, and then I hone everything in on that goal. I’ve always heard that ‘your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness’. And I see that true in my style of leadership. In my passion to show people the picture, to paint for them, sometimes I can trump their vision and leave them out of the process.

I am also #4. That would be my secondary style. I usually like to challenge the process. Why are we doing that? Why are we doing that the way we are doing that? I think it’s silly to say things like, ‘We’ve learned that this always works’, or ‘the only way to do this is…’. I want to know why, and how, and then find a way to do things that work for a particular situation or culture. There’s never a silver bullet.

So, what about you?

3 thoughts on “What Kind of Leader Are You?

  1. jordan

    Their are also inherent problems with each style….

    The relational leader can struggle to lead beyond the relationships he/she can maintain.

    The visionary leader has the least trouble as long as he/she can communicate the vision clearly. I have seen them struggle here being a Van Gogh or Picasso in a Rembrandt world.

    The administrative leader may get so entrenched in systems and processes that they lose the larger question of “What do we do next and how many resources do we apply to it?”

    I don’t know if I would separate out innovative leaders as a true style. Mintzberg (in Drucker’s Leading for Innovation) deems “innovation” by its very definition does not mean doing an old thing a new way. That is merely “adaption.” (Example: a wenkal engine is still a gas powered engine, not innovative, just adaptive.)

    Most people we would deem great adaptive leaders are also managerial/systems types with merely a different methodology. Most innovators are really visionaries. In that sense, I don’t see it innovative as a separate “style.” (Plus, our egos also always want to deem ourselves innovative,when most of us are just good adapters.)

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