What Kind of Leader Are You?

Probably one of the greatest challenges for young leaders is finding your leadership voice.

We mimic.

We compare.

We try and fail.  We try again.

We have moments of success and moments of failure (perceived and sometimes real).

Our inconsistency in leading is nauseating for us and those we lead.

While some elements of leadership come naturally, I believe that most of leadership is learned over time and as we glean wisdom.  You can’t microwave the wisdom that comes from experience.

Here are three kinds of leaders I consistently see:

The Timid Leader – The timid leader has strong leadership potential but is so worried about making sure everyone likes their plan/vision/idea that they are wishy-washy with direction.  They react to the emotional responses of people therefore making them inconsistent and hard to follow.

The Dominant Leader – The dominant leader dictates everything & expects everyone to follow.  Their insecurity is masked by their need to prove they know it all.  The result is resentment from those they lead.

The Confident Leader – The confident leader leads with positivity & decisiveness.  They are confident in their calling but humble in their approach.  They are not afraid to do what’s right even when it’s not popular.  They don’t react to emotional responses from those they lead.  Instead, they lead people through them with grace and patience.

What kind of leader are you?

What other types of leaders have you observed?

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  • Morgan MacGavin January 23, 2012  

    I think I have Timid leader tendencies and a few Confident ones.  There have been many times I have been the Confident leader, as well as, unfortunately, the Dominant.  I think each type has been based on my comfort level in what I’m leading.  Lack of knowledge or good track record is probably what makes me linger as a Timid leader sometimes.  I fear making the same mistakes and am probably over cautious at times moving forward.  I also tend to care too much about what others think.  Any times I’ve acted as a Dominant leader, it’s been because of what you said:  insecurity.  It was typically a situation where I wasn’t confident enough in my own skills and natural abilities, and jealousy made me a harsh and difficult leader to work with.   I’d like to think I’ve grown out of a lot of that and have learned from several moments that definitely weren’t my finest. 

    I can honestly say that I don’ t think I’ve ever been led by a Timid leader.  Definitely several Dominants – which, maybe, fuel a bit of my lack of confidence.  And plenty of Confident leaders.  Those are the ones that I try to soak up the most from.  I don’t like being a Timid leader.  I want to be the kind of leader that hopefully cultivates other leaders, and to do so in a healthy manner.  

  • turner_bethany January 24, 2012  

    “You can’t microwave the wisdom that comes from experience.” So very true. As young leaders, we need to get ourselves out of our comfort zones and make new experiences for ourselves so we can become the Confident Leader.