Different types of leaders - Reading

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Technocrats are never at a loss for words, charts or graphs. They always have a plan of action in three parts. They rarely laugh out loud and never at work. When they explain to you why Jim or George had to be let go, they use expressions like, “he wasn’t tough , professional, modern, rigorous, serious, hard-working enough.” This person will be described by peers and colleagues as controlled , conservative, serious, analytical, no-nonsense, determined, cerebral, methodical, and meticulous.

The Artist

The artist is nearly the opposite of a technocrat. What is your strategic plan for the future? Answer: “to get big,” “to get 30 on the tour instead of 15.” Artists may be short on detail. The artist CEO might get overtly angry or euphoric at a meeting. Their peers or colleagues describe them as bold, daring, exciting, volatile, intuitive, entrepreneurial, inspiring, imaginative, unpredictable, and funny. The artist makes both fast friends and abiding enemies. They don’t have a neutral reaction.

The Craftsman

People trust them They see the organisation as an enduring institution, one that has a life of its own, a past and a future, one of which he or she is but a custodian. The tend to stay in one organisation and are therefore intimately familiar with its past and careful about preserving its identity in the midst of change. The craftsman provides continuity and organizational glue, and stimulates loyalty and commitment. Their peers and colleagues will describe them as patient, wise, amiable, humane, honest, straightforward, responsible, trustworthy, open-minded and realistic.

New Roles

What if your organisation was an ocean liner and you were the leader. What would your role be?

  • Captain
  • Navigator
  • Helmsman
  • Engineer
  • Social director

What about the designer? Surely the person with the most influence was the designer of the ship. The functions of design are not always visable because they take place behind the scenes. Those who aspire to lead out of a desire to gain control, or gain fame, or simply to be at he the centre of the action, will find little to attract them to the quiet design work of leadership.

  • The first task of organization design concerns designing the governing ideas of purpose, vision, and core value by which people will live
  • The second task involves the design of policies, strategies and structure

Leaders as Teachers

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality (Herman Miller CEO Max de Pree 1989 pg.9). Much of the leverage leaders can actually exert lies in helping people achieve more accurate, more insightful, and more empowering views of reality. There is an emerging view of leaders as coaches, guides, facilitators.

Leaders as Stewards

Stewards are workers or clients before they are leaders. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve first then grows to a conscious choice of wanting to lead. Leaders engaged in building learning organizations naturally feel part of a larger purpose that goes beyond their organization.

Reference: Mintzberg, Henry, Quinn, Brian, James (1996) The Strategy Process, (3rd edition), Managerial Styles , Chapter 8, pg 407-418, Prentice Hall International, USA