The characters Del Boy from ‘Only Fools and Horses’ and John McLane from ‘Die Hard’ each have leadership qualities that are clearly very different. But what about Del Boy and the Godfather, Vito Corleone? It might surprise you to learn that they have much more in common than might at first be apparent.
The Catalyst Leader
Both are the head of a family. Both create relationships, protect their family and friends, and call in favours to get what they want. Both will tolerate lack of ability but not disloyalty. Both can be described as a Catalyst Leader. They get things done through their relationships with others.
The Driver or Task Force Leader
In contrast John McLane is only interested in getting the job done. He will not tolerate incompetence and if he had accomplices he would select them on the basis of their ability to do the job. If they didn’t pass muster he would ditch them without compunction. His leadership style is known as The Driver or Task Force Leader.
In addition to the Catalyst and the Driver there are two other leadership types which complete a suite of four. These four are based on Carl Jung’s temperamental types which are predictive of leadership styles. They also resonate with Charles Handy’s ‘Gods of Management and his four cultural types.
The Guardian Leader
The Guardian Leader is focused on order and thoroughness. He tends to exist in a world of tradition, bureaucracy and keeps the organisation compliant and in good shape.
The Visionary Leader
In contrast The Visionary Leader is creative and independent of spirit. Visionaries are rare in most organisations except in R&D, high tech’ or innovation based companies. Often charismatic they tend to show up as external specialists, often regarded as management gurus.
Four types of Leadership
The Goldilocks Effect
As with Goldilocks and her porridge – too hot or too cold – each of the leadership types can become problematic if overplayed. In film and TV the extreme character traits are often used for comedic effect
Inscribed over the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the ancient wisdom still stands. Understanding your default leadership type gives you real insight into what drives and motivates you, your weaknesses and blindspots, how you give and receive feedback, how you react and contribute to change, how you deal with set-backs, how you approach tasks, and your quickest and most enjoyable route to success.
The truth will set you free, but first it will p*** you off. Don’t try to change who you are. Don’t make yourself wrong for being the unique human being you were destined to be. Celebrate your talents and your unique contribution.
However life is more fulfilling if you take responsibility for the impact your behaviour and attitude has on yourself and others. Allow your self knowledge to help you manage any joyless traits.
Hollywood Lessons in Leadership™ – Lesson #4 of 6
© 2016 Anne Oberon, http://www.oberonconsultants.com