While we’ve touched upon some of the basic and essential tenets of leadership, and some of the commonalities and overarching traits that many leaders seem to possess, the truth is that there are many different types of leaders, all of them effective to a certain degree. Yes, it would be ideal if a leader encompassed all of the essential traits, yet even those people who do not can still excel as leaders. It can be important to determine what type of leader one is, as that will allow a person to focus on the traits that he or she possesses and hone them to a higher level, rather than obsessing over the absent traits, that in the end would require too much effort to acquire, with not enough reward. Thus, let’s take a look at some of the different types of leaders.
• The powerful leader. This person is the one who needs to be in the driver’s seat, and while this kind of take charge personality can be a good thing in an organization too often gripped by inertia, it can also be a bad thing in that a too forceful person can have a negative impact on morale. However, this type of leader also cares deeply about his people and his organization deep down, and so his goal should be to let those he is leading see that part of his personality, so that they come to admire and respect him as a person, and not just his ability to lead.
• The perfectionist leader. This person has a lot of the traits of a good manager, keeping everything and all tasks and people focused, and having an eye for detail. This leader is likely to be very organized, and to know what is happening at all times. If left completely unchecked, this type of leadership can also devolve into micromanagement. The challenge for this person will be to learn what’s important and what’s not, and to delegate lesser tasks to others so as to not let the small things get in the way.
• The peaceful leader. This person has a good deal of compassion and can smooth things over easily, yet can be so passive as to frustrate many in the organization who feel that a stronger hand is needed. While people will feel comfortable coming to this type of leader and sharing their thoughts, ideas, even feelings, they may also feel that he will not go to bat for them, as he is likely to try too hard to not rock the boat. Thus, this leader needs to try to balance the desire to make peace and be a facilitator with the knowledge that indeed, sometimes a firmer hand is needed and decisions have to be made that will not appease everyone.
• The popular leader. This person is known as the good-time guy in the organization, who everybody loves for her ability to create a fun environment. This type of leader can use the power of her charisma to rally everyone around a common goal, yet at the same time, has a tendency to overlook details, some of which are important. This person should continue to use her charisma to gain support, but to also temper that with an awareness of the day to day things that need to be done – and make sure that someone in the organization is doing them.
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