Are you an architect or an implementer? Esther Cameron and Mike Green describe five styles of leading
Almost every moment of your day at work presents you with leadership opportunities. The way you send an email, how you ask for help, your contribution to a meeting, what you talk to people about over coffee - these small, seemingly insignificant acts are all moments when we make micro-decisions about how to behave.
Some of these decisions are so pre-programmed that we regard them as "just how I do things". But we can always behave differently; there is a choice.
In Making Sense of Leadership, we use a simple checklist that we refer to as the five leadership roles.
The edgy catalyser likes to use creative tension to get things done. In this role, I might say to a colleague: "I'm surprised to see you here. I thought you'd be sorting out the problems in the Glasgow office."
This can be very effective where people are not taking accountability well, or follow-up is not being done. There is a certain edge to it, which creates tension about performance.
The visionary motivator inspires people to act by using bursts of imaginative thinking and enthusiastic appreciation of people. This helps in shifting people's thinking and increases their confidence. They might say something like: "Have you seen the latest email from the chief executive? Wouldn't it be great if we got ourselves involved in making this project happen?"
The measured connector is interested in deeper purpose and in getting people galvanised around a common aim. They believe people work best when their work has meaning for them.
Conversations would be deeper and more resonant. "I wondered how you were getting on with the financial plan, given your misgivings last month?"
The tenacious implementer has drive to get things done according to plan. They can take a complex piece of work and chunk it up into a sequence of actions.
A typical exchange in this role is: "Can we meet to catch up on progress with the interface workshop and to plan the next six jobs I expect you to complete before the end of the year?"
The thoughtful architect is a great conceptualiser. Their head is full of designs and mental maps.
These people can be absolutely fascinating or a nightmare if you are in a hurry. In this role, my coffee machine conversation would be based on my own long range ideas.