13 ways of looking at a leader
Want to be a better leader? Or find management inspiration, at least? Here you can learn from a baker’s dozen of the most prevalent types.
Our endless fascination with leadership has inspired an endless parade of leadership books, many of which strive to identify distinctive styles of top-doggery. Whether CEOs can learn to lead from the prescriptions of academics, consultants, and management thinkers is open to debate. For those wishing to try—or at least to be inspired—here are a baker’s dozen of the most prevalent types of leaders. We have also cited a book associated with each leadership style, as well as some real-world examples of each archetype.
In normal times, there may not be easy answers, but at least there are answers. In times of crisis or King Kong–scale change, leaders must devise entirely new approaches to doing business. Adaptive leaders rise above the noise to interpret dynamic situations, adjust their values to changing circumstances, and then help their people stretch to meet the unfamiliar without sacrificing their trust, says Ron Heifetz, director of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. Sam Palmisano, late of IBM, is one such change maestro. Ford’s Alan Mulally is another.
For more: The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organisation and the World, by Ronald A. Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow.
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