Leadership has been defined in numerous ways. For some it implies “power over” for others “expertise” and still for others it simply states “authority” and then leading others to a defined goal.
In addition, for some, leadership is the ultimate dream, a clear and obvious definition and proof of their success. They worked hard to achieve that level of “success.” Over the years, as a psychotherapist for many for whom that was the case, I began to see the price they had paid to achieve something that in so many ways was not at all reflective of who they truly were. Consequently, their status and accomplishments came at a great price.
For others, leadership was not a dream or even a goal, it simply was… There are those folks who, no matter what organization they join, what charity they become involved with, end up rising to the level of director or president. I have spoken to individuals who will not join groups because they are aware that within a year somehow they will be asked to be on the board no matter how invisible or casual they attempt to be. Effectiveness, power, and leadership seem to ooze out of them.
What is the difference? I believe we are all called to leadership. We are all called to be the defining leaders of own lives, our own relationships, and our own stories. However, knowing the kind of leadership you possess, knowing your style of leadership, and knowing where you are most naturally gifted makes all the difference in the world – and most certainly in your world.
Leadership is many things. There are many styles of leadership, all equally needed and significant.
The Five Archetypes of Leadership represent all aspects of leadership and in truth we possess each and every one of these Archetypes but in varying degrees. This happens for a variety of reasons.
Based on our natural personality, our early childhood experiences, and/or our developed belief systems, we tend to have one or two styles that are far more developed than the others. Understanding which ones you have developed, consciously or unconsciously, opens up doors for you and allows you to see where your strengths are in terms of leading your own company as an entrepreneur or in moving ahead in the corporation you are a part of.
A point to note as well is that you may have developed many of the strengths of a particular archetype while you may have also learned far more of the vulnerabilities and self- sabotaging behaviors of another archetype through observation as a child.
As an example: if you are a Thought Leader with significant items checked in the strengths then we know that you think out of the box and have a great deal of creativity to offer in terms of product or company development, expansion, or promotion.
Taking this further, if you have both strong Thought Leadership and strong Team Leadership archetypes then we know that you are able to easily create situations where your team will excel when they are confronted with an unusual or unexpected problem. Your style will be to come up with an out of the box solution that works amazingly in that situation. With these two as your stand-out styles, what a great position that is for you……….
If you are a strong Thought Leader and a strong Supportive Leader, then the CEO will know you always have their back and they will trust that you will always find a solution that also makes them look terrific.
A strong Thought Leadership style combined with a strong Visionary Leadership style states that you are perfectly comfortable center stage and that when confronted with out of the box questions you can think on your feet quickly and accurately present the answer in a smooth and comfortable manner.
Finally, combining strong Thought Leadership and strong Organizational Leadership styles demonstrates that you not only love creating systems and protocols but are also more than capable of adapting any system to meet the changing needs of your organization.
As you can see, one developed strength is a gift but with two leadership styles equally or almost equally healthily developed you have numerous opportunities to explore what areas appeal to you in terms of a career track or position of leadership.
Because you always have the option of personal and professional growth, you may consciously choose to develop further skills in any one area that appeals to you. One may be one you already excel in or perhaps, importantly, one in which you have a large number of checked boxes since it is an impactful leadership style for you but not necessarily in the healthy aspect. You have strong leanings in that leadership style but it needs work to be supportive rather than a hindrance. The question becomes are you willing and/or able to do that work?