Tuesday, 7 March 2017

What Kind of Leader Are You? The Nine Types of Leadership and Their Strengths

One truth here is that... as an employee, your personal work style and approach may not matter much to anyone beyond your boss and immediate team members. However, when you become a leader, your behaviors and skills are suddenly in the spotlight. Taking it into reason that so many people are relying on you for guidance and inspiration, it's important to examine your habits and consider how they might be perceived in your leadership role. In her book, "The 9 Types of Leadership: Mastering the Art of People in the 21st Century Workplace" (Post Hill Press, 2017), author Beatrice Chestnut, Ph.D., defines nine different leadership styles. "The nine types ... are based on the nine personality styles articulated by the Enneagram model, a typology arrayed around an ancient symbol that has roots in timeless wisdom traditions," Chestnut said. "Each type is characterized by a specific focus on attention as well as specific strengths, motivations and blind spots." According to Chestnut, Here are the focus areas of each leadership type:
1. Quality:This type of leader, focuses more on improvement, getting things right, making things as perfect as they can be, being ethical, following the rules and applying high standards.
2. Pleasing people: At this point, this type leader focuses on being liked, creating relationships, strategically supporting others to make themselves indispensable and empowering people.
3. Work tasks and goals: This kind of leader wants to be efficient and productive and have the image of someone who is a successful achiever.
4. Emotions: This type of leader is focused on their internal experience and on expressing themselves so that people will understand and see them as being unique and special.
5. Data and work-related information: This leader is more comfortable operating on the intellectual level (as opposed to the emotional level), and is objective, analytical, private, and likes to work independently.
6. Potential problems: This type of leader focuses on noticing what might go wrong, forecasting problems before they happen so they can prepare for them ahead of time. This type of leader is an insightful problem solver who watches out for threats, is a good troubleshooter and specializes in assessing risks.
7. Innovation: This type of leader focuses on coming up with new ideas and planning for the future. This leadership style is optimistic, enthusiastic and automatically reframes negatives into positives.
8. Power and control: This type of leader prefers big-picture thinking to figuring out the details, likes to make big things happen, and has an easier time dealing with conflict and confrontation than some of the other types.
9. Creating harmony: Here.....this type of leader leads by consensus. They are a natural mediator, and want to make sure everyone is heard and that different points of view are considered when making plans and coming to decisions.
Playing to your strengths
To start with here, each of the nine types of leaders are equal in their capacity for being effective, said Chestnut. However, some types are more oriented to being effective, based on the individual leader's motivations. "How effective a specific type of person is ... is based on two things: First, their personality style and its characteristic focus of attention and habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving; second, how self-aware, developed and healthy they are," Chestnut said. "Every type can grow to leverage their strengths more consciously and address their specific challenges so they can be more effective." And in addition to that, Chestnut noted that leaders are most powerful when they can model self-awareness and self-development for the people they lead. It's important to become more aware of what you do well and what gets in your way of being effective, she said. By understanding the strengths of your type, you can apply your natural talents more consciously and strategically. Conversely, Chestnut added, recognizing your challenges enables you to develop those areas of weakness so they don't hold you back as a leader. The above types of leadership offer a framework for understanding that different people have different worldviews. "By helping leaders to see their habitual patterns, they can … ultimately make more conscious choices about the things they do and model a greater degree of self-awareness as a way of inspiring the people they work with," Chestnut finally said.

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