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Thursday, March 25, 2021

5 leadership styles

Over many years of observing leaders and leading people myself, I have learned to recognize five distinct styles of leadership: 

1. The Presider. From presiders we expect the preservation of values, the elegant representation of the team/company both within the enterprise and with its external constituencies, the efficient management of meetings, communications, and so on, and a sort of wise stewardship over the assets of the firm. Think of someone who spends his entire career at the same company and serves a relatively short stint as CEO—a time during which everything runs smoothly but nothing changes dramatically. He successfully presided. 

2. The Manager. From managers we expect teams to be led to deliver on-time, on-budget, agreed-upon results. Managers are like conductors who understand the score and each instrument without having to play every one of them. Managers excel at managing people, so they tend to focus on the team rather than the organization, its strategy, or its trajectory. 

3. The Administrator. From administrators we expect the policies and processes that deliver predictability and efficiency. Administrators administrate process. They are disciplined and efficient but rarely creative or inspirational. They may successfully lead a bureaucracy or governmental entity, where rules and process guide day-to-day actions, but they may struggle to succeed in a dynamic or unpredictable environment. 

4. The Pure Entrepreneur. From pure entrepreneurs we expect innovation, experiments, pilots, a future focus. Entrepreneurs excel at launching new things, but they often stumble when asked to lead a larger, steady-state business or turn around a faltering organization. 

5. The Politician. From politicians we expect compromise and legislation that serve to rationalize decision making by others in charge of execution. They also understand and know how to use power. Political skill can be useful in many leadership contexts (particularly when in a highly democratic or collaborative culture), but overreliance on political skill rarely works well in a business setting.
Source: Entrepreneurial Leadership by Joel Peterson

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