When assuming a leadership role, one does what is required in that position at the time. There is no road-map because leaders must respond to events as they occur, as they simultaneously champion projects developed by members of their team, push through selected personal initiatives and follow through with worthy projects that started before their regime. Most of all a leader must be versatile, possessed of good judgment and more than a little lucky.
Nevertheless, we all have our strengths. Some of us are super strategists, or change agents. Others are great with process and operations, we intuitively know how to get things done efficiently. Still others are master communicators: deal-makers, negotiators or coaches.
How does one rise to leadership, take the reins and succeed when certain key projects call for talents outside of the natural skill set? Good judgment will encourage the leader to recognize what is beyond his/her expertise and delegate such tasks to better qualified team members. Further, the leader is advised to acknowledge team members who step up, because recognition builds loyalty and the productive can-do spirit of a high-functioning team.
Leadership development specialist Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, author of “The Hedgehog Effect: The Secrets of Building High Performance Teams” (2011), has identified eight leadership competency archetypes for us to ponder. Do you recognize yourself in one?
The BUILDER approaches leadership as an entrepreneurial activity. This leader longs to create a tangible legacy.
The CHANGE AGENT loves to ride in on a white horse and clean up a mess. Re-engineering is the preferred activity.
The COACH derives great personal satisfaction from talent development and knows how to recognize the strengths of team members and get the best out them.
The COMMUNICATOR, like former presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, loves being on stage and knows how to influence people.
The INNOVATOR is able to sort through difficult problems and devise creative, yet practical solutions.
The NEGOTIATOR is highly gifted at recognizing, selling and bringing to the organization lucrative new business opportunities.
The PROCESSOR is an operations expert who will make the organization run like a well-oiled machine. This leader will institute systems that support the organization’s objectives.
The STRATEGIST has the vision to recognize which goals and strategies the organization would be wise to pursue to ensure its future growth and sustainability.
Merry Christmas and thanks for reading,