Some people are born leaders. However, not all leaders operate by the same modus operandi. It’s important to know what type of leader you are in order to maximize your potential, as well as the potential of your team or company. Are you a creative thinker, or more traditional in your problem-solving methods? Do you like to have a solid gameplan, or would you rather jump into the fray and fix things on the fly? Do you act on emotion, or through carefully thought-out logic? Depending on how you answered these questions, you probably fall into one of the following categories, according to Inc.com:
The Envisioner is always dreaming up big things for his team. He isn’t limited by conventions. When others say we can’t do things that way, the Envisioner asks, “Why not?” He approaches each problem with a unique perspective, and will think outside the box when given an especially difficult task. The Envisioner rarely meets a problem he can’t solve with his creativity.
However, problems can arise when the Envisioner thinks too big. His ideas might be too creative, in that he ends up utilizing too many resources, or realizes he didn’t think his solution through to the end. The Envisioner’s idealistic nature sometimes blinds him from the reality of the situation, and he’s left dreaming in the clouds while the rest of his team is working on a grounded way to get things done.
Envisioners work best as artists, musicians, or any other profession in which their worth is determined by their creativity. If you’re an Envisioner, you might find it difficult to work in a position in which you have a budget and other limitations holding you back from your dream.
The Analyzer is programmed to look at each and every problem she faces systematically. While the Envisioner has lofty, unrealistic hopes for the future, the Analyzer stays grounded and sees things as they truly are. The Analyzer doesn’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel; rather, she subscribes to the old axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” She is more than happy to stay the course, as long as things get done to the best of a team’s ability.
Of course, this means the Analyzer rarely introduces innovation to the team. The Analyzer tends to shy away from new ways of doing things, and is incredibly skeptical of those who try to be creative in their solutions. Unfortunately, since the Analyzer doesn’t take many risks, she actually runs a bigger risk of allowing her team and company to fall behind others who come up with modern spins on old traditions.
Lawyers and judges are, of course, analytical thinkers. Their jobs require them to work within the law rather than to bend it as they see fit. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but instead must be sure the machine stays afloat.
The Feeler is an emotionally-driven leader who sees his team as people first, employees second. He’s empathetic to his teams needs, and understands that a good team can’t function unless their basic needs are met. The Feeler won’t be the boss requiring his employees to come in on Saturday to finish up work that should have been done Friday, because he understands they need down time in order to be effective come Monday morning.
However, when you’re the leader of a team, there are times when you can’t be everyone’s best friend. The Feeler often has trouble laying down the law when things aren’t going the way they should be. In an effort to appease everyone, he may end up failing the company by not enforcing a “strictly business” policy in the workplace.
The Feeler is best fit to work as a counselor or psychiatrist, as he is able to work with others on an personal, emotional level rather than focusing on business.
The Doer is strictly results-oriented, regardless of the cost. According to the Doer, if something needs to get done, it better get done immediately and without hesitation. The Doer doesn’t waste time analyzing possible solutions. When she makes a decision, she sticks to it and expects everyone else to fall in line. Unlike the Feeler, the Doer might have her employees come in on Saturday if they didn’t get the job done Friday.
But the decisions the Doer makes aren’t always the right ones. Since she tends to make quick decisions and jump into projects, she often loses sight of the big picture. Unfortunately, the Doer is also very rigid and stuck in her ways. Regardless of whether her initial plan actually works or not, she will stick with it to the end. This can result in a drop in morale, especially when she ignores her employees’ innovative contingency plans.
Athletes are the epitome of Doers. They know what their goal is, and they know how to accomplish it to the best of their ability. The best athletes never let anyone else stand in the way of their goals.
Not sure what type of leader you are? Check out this handy test on Inc.com and let us know in the comments what your leadership style is.