Your approach to leadership can create health or dysfunction, attract or repel good employees, and lead to effective outcomes or organizational failure. The more you understand your approach to leading and the approach of those with whom you serve, the greater the likelihood you will improve team health and organizational effectiveness.
I make no claim to provide any new research on the topic of the differing approaches to leadership. However, in our years of consulting with nonprofits, businesses, and churches, we have observed six instinctive approaches to the way a leader leads. Most leaders are a combination of at least two of these approaches and, at times, may manifest characteristics from all of them.
1. The Driver
- Orientation: Action
- Greatest contribution: Delivering results
- Common challenge: Moving too fast
2. The Protector
- Orientation: Authority
- Greatest contribution: Procedures in detail
- Common challenge: Too slow
3. The Innovator
- Orientation: Vision
- Greatest contribution: Creative idea generation
- Common challenge: Too many ideas
4. The Expert
- Orientation: Knowledge
- Greatest contribution: Professional expertise
- Common challenge: Too arrogant
5. The Strategist
- Orientation: Planning
- Greatest contribution: Plans for accomplishing goals
- Common challenge: Too complex
6. The Relater
- Orientation: People
- Greatest contribution: Relational glue
- Common challenge: Too little action
Which leadership types do you identify with? Which types would others see you as? If you don’t know how you are perceived by those you lead, motivating your team and producing successful outcomes can be challenging.
For more learning on each of these leadership types as well as on navigating the challenges to leadership and organizational growth, order our new book GUIDE: Building the Team. Setting the Direction. Fulfilling the Mission.
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of ministry assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include a B.S. in Bible, a M.Ed in Instructional Systems Design and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.