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Eureka: Different types of leaders
by Jay Gutman
2018-04-30 03:58:08
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You essentially have seven types of leaders. You have the emotional leader, the factual leader, the narrative leader, the surviving leader, the solidarity leader, the altruistic leader and the narcissistic leader. There's a great deal of overelap between such leaders. When I discuss leaders I'm not just discussing political leaders, but any leader at an organization. So here's what it looks like.

The emotional leader

leaders1_400If your boss or leader is the emotional type, good luck. Emotional leaders mainly communicate through their emotions, that is they are either happy or angry, furstrated or furious. It's difficult to know exactly what they want, and it's diffcult for them to formulate clear policy or to give clear guidelines. They react to news with emotions, and get very emotional when there's good news or bad news.

A lot of their decisions are based on emotions. They can cancel deals simply because those deals make them feel bad emotionally, fire people simply because they feel bad emotionally, hire people simply because those people make them feel bad emotionally.

During meetings, their emotions will often show, and a lot of the people present will try not to offend their emotions. They clearly show when they are dissatisfied, and clearly show when they are satisfied. Sometimes their emotions get in the way of their decisions, that is they will take decisions merely based on how they feel emotionally.

The factual leader

Factual leaders tend to have little emotions and tend to focus on the facts. They want the facts, the statistics, the procedures, the reports. They will run the team or the organization based on the facts, and on little else. They tend to stick to the facts, and the problem tends to be that they want little narration behind the facts.

Factual leaders tend to value ritual and believe that ritualized behavior leads to stable facts. The main problem is they often don't see the world changing around them, and to them the facts are set in stone. 

The narrative leader

The narrative leader tends to like to hear a good story and tell a good story. Unlike the emotional leader who will try to gain emotional information, or the factual leader who will try to gain factual information, the narrative leader will tend to try to get narrative information. Narrative leaders will try to find out what the stories are inside and outside the organization, and one of the disadvantages is that they might try to seek too much information, which can lead to information overload. 

The surviving leader

In any organization, is the numbers or not good and the financial situation is bad, or if the leader inherits a culture of conflict, he will tend to be in survival mode. Rather than planning for the long term, he will have to make plans for the day and then see if he or she can survive that day. Long-term plans are off limits, and most decisions will involve what happened the previous day and what will happen the next day.

The solidarity leader

If the financial situation of the organization is OK and relations between people are cordial, leaders can be in solidarity mode. They will tend to try to help members of the organization thrive, help members of the organization and plan for the organization long-term. In some cases, some are solidarity leaders when the organization is barely surviving, while others still operate in solidarity mode when the organization is clearly thriving.

The altruistic leader

The organization is well-off financially and the leader can afford to be in altruistic mode. They will give generously to members of the organization and allow liberties that other organizations often don't allow. The problem is they might start hiring people merely for decoration purposes, and that tasks can be distributed in random ways.

The narcissistic leader

The narcissistic leader wants his portrait everywhere around the organization, wants to build his or her legacy, starts writing autobiographies and wants members of the organization to clealy see him or her as a leader. Anyone who does not treat him or her like a leader may suffer the consequences, even when the organization is doing well financially. Some of the spending can be extravagant, and unlike altruistic leaders, narcissitic leaders clearly want others to notice them.

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