Leaders need to know their leadership type. My years of research have found that there are four main types:
Once leaders know their leadership type, they need to know where they have strengths and where they don’t. Leaders should know when to use the right tools. A toolkit is not unlike the set of techniques available to leaders: A hammer, a saw, and a wrench are all indispensable when you’re building or repairing something, but they’re not interchangeable. The same occurs when leaders are weighing ideas or possible innovative techniques.
Leaders should also keep an open mind and know their weaknesses. Everyone has a worldview and therefore a bias towards a particular strategy or perspective. Leaders should partner with others that challenge them. Sages and Engineers challenge each other, as do Engineers and Artists. Great leaders will develop the appropriate culture and competencies in their company to produce the desired value proposition. However, leaders typically favor practices that closely resemble their own preferences instead of changing those practices to fit the situation, to the detriment of the organization. Lacking range and knowledge about when you need to enlist others will not result in the desired outcome.
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