Leadership drives everything we do. Great leaders take us into the future with their ability to see what’s not yet reality and inspire and motivate us to get there. As a consultant who has worked with hundreds of business and church leaders, I have noticed that often great leaders have to retool their own leadership or management style in order to continue to grow their organization. This leadership retooling is both painful and necessary. These are leadership styles that if you don’t grow beyond them will stop your organization from getting to the next level:
The Funnel. Everything needs to come through your desk. Nothing gets approved, financed or blessed unless you are involved. That’s a sure way to keep a good thing from growing. This usually happens because the leader doesn’t trust his or her team and feels that he’s the best person for the job– every job, that is.
The Albatross. You fly in, crap on everybody and fly out. Yep. I’ve worked for this guy before, and let me tell you, it’s no way to lead an organization. Everyone is always on alert because, at any moment, you might go off and tell the entire team what a bunch of losers they are. Your team lives in fear long enough to find another job or begin drinking hard liquor, at lunch time, on church premises.
Mr. Happy Talk. You’re the opposite of the Albatross, but equally ineffective. You just want to love your team into doing their jobs and hate to see conflict, so you do a lot of happy talk with very little or no real deadlines and assigned responsibilities. The low performing staff members love you, but you’ll frustrate the the high-capacity, high-performance team members who want to get beyond the status quo.
The Dictator. You give your staff freedom to accomplish a task just the way you instructed them. And everyone is allowed their opinion as long as it’s the same as yours. You’ll surround yourself with “doers” but the “thinkers” will not work for you long.
Mr. Paradox. Do as I say and not as I do. You often say one thing and end up doing another. You are prone to “forget” promises or agreed upon courses of actions. Your team will lose trust in you and realize that you’re not on their corner. There’s only one corner and that’s yours.
Look Shiny! You implement change faster than it takes the cast of The Jersey Shore to get drunk on one of their shows. But halfway through your plan, you come up a new shiny idea, so you chase that for a while only to see another opportunity and. . . you get the point. You wear everyone out and nothing ever gets done well, since no plan is fully executed.
Have I missed any leadership type? What’s the best and/or worst leader you’ve worked for?