Four Types of Leader
There are three Core Elements of Leadership :
And, there are Two Main Drives:
1. To dominate other people.
2. To achieve eminence (status, reputation) through competition based on some technical gift.
These two drives can be combined in four ways.
And each combination creates a different type of leader.
Type----------------------Dominance Drive------Status Drive
A: Dominant Boss---------------high----------------high
B: Ambitious Professional-----low-----------------high
C: Informal Influencer----------high----------------low
D: Reluctant Leader------------low-----------------low
TYPE A: DOMINANT BOSSES have the desire to dominate plus the desire to achieve through competitive striving. Includes political leaders and many business leaders. Lee Iacocca, Castro, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton.
TYPE B: AMBITIOUS PROFESSIONALS have little interest in dominance over others. They are leaders because they possess some technical gift. For example, faceless technocrats running investment banks and science-based firms. These gifts can be colourful as in creative people who head up media and arts organizations but have no real interest in managing people.
Also in this group are Tough Achievers who like to compete and win but have no interest in leading people.
Type B's only survive if the business runs on its own through its procedures (the Machine Bureaucracy model). Type B's are also a safe stopgap after a company recovers from a brutalist Type A. Charismatic, extreme A's are often followed by B's who, because they are not so dominance-oriented can be better suited to peace-making .
TYPE C: INFLUENCERS don't want to compete because they fear failure. But their high dominance drive makes them want power so they gravitate to roles in which they have power without responsibility. They can be cheerleaders for the boss or rebellious dissidents who sit on the sidelines working the crowd against him.
They only become leaders if the position is handed to them with little risk attached as in organizations which are run collectively or where the leadership role is underwritten by a higher power.
TYPE D: RELUCTANT LEADERS are people who prefer a safe, rewarding niche free from competition. They become leaders when other types are in short supply or when the leader's role confers little status or power.
They can also come to power via natural succession in a family firm but when they do they are usually awful.
Reluctant leadership is also characteristic of civil service and other bureaucracies in which people are delivered the role via an escalator of tenure.
Another bureaucratic model is the Carousel Principle of leadership rotation: every few years it's your turn whether you want it or not.
From Executive Instinct.