The 7 Ways of Leading – and How to Improve Your Skills

A successful leader is not afraid of change.  He or she is comfortable taking risks and making the big and small operational and organizational changes that will increase profits, expand market share, and even transform an industry.

Understanding the unique strengths necessary to be a successful leader begins with understanding how you interpret your own and others’ behavior and how you maintain power or protect against threats. There are 7 ways of leading, all with their own strengths and weaknesses:

Opportunist: Good in emergencies and pursuing sales, but so focused on winning in any way possible that few people will follow them over the long-term.

Diplomat: Good at keeping a team together and on track, but avoids conflict, thus making him or her unable to provide harsh feedback or make difficult decisions.

Expert: Good as an individual contributor, but relies on logic, numbers, and expertise and lacks emotional intelligence.

Achiever: Good at meeting strategic goals, managing others, and working on a team, but lacks the creativity to develop long-term strategic plans.

Individualist: Good in highly innovative and creative industries, but ignores inconvenient rules, processes, and people in order to complete projects.

Strategist: Good at generating organizational and personal change, collaborating, integrating their vision with the pragmatic steps needed to get there, and challenging the status quo.  As a leader, no weaknesses.

Alchemist: Good at generating social transformations and reinventing organizations in historically significant ways.  As a leader, no weaknesses.

One of the most effective ways to develop the skills of a strategist is by establishing a mentorship group with people in your network, such as board members, executives, and industry leaders.  By challenging each others’ assumptions and practices, you will all develop into stronger leaders.

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