7 Kinds of Leaders: Which One is Best?

The Gloom and Doom Leader – At every fork in the road you see despair. Whether it’s employees missing deadlines and disappointing you or Board members who load on the guilt, you’re bogged down with the weight of the world. You can’t see the light because there is too much to do and no one to delegate to.

Advantage: People around you more often than not are waiting in the wings to step in to either counsel, console or take on the extra workload.

Disadvantage: You’re kind of a bummer to be around and you probably go home feeling worn out and burned out. You feel the weight of the world on Mondays and dread waking up in the morning.


The Command and Control Leader: You’re an alpha leader to the nth degree. You on the room when you walk in. People hush up when you enter the room for fear of being chewed out. You bark orders at people before they’ve had a chance to have their first sip of coffee. You drive the ship because there couldn’t possibly be any other way of getting to point B.

Advantage: Directions are clear and you know what you want.

Disadvantage: You’re probably hurting a lot of people’s feelings along the way and are feeling really exhausted. Imagine a 10+ hour boxing max – yep you’re in it.


The Win/Win Leader: You take everyone’s opinion, feelings, interactions and reactions into consideration before making a decision. You are conscious of how you come across and how others may perceive you. Every situation is about making sure everyone wins.

Advantage: People feel acknowledged and validated. They are part of the group and feel like they matter which in turn empowers you.

Disadvantage: Consensus takes time and effort and may not be achievable in short deadlines. People may be frustrated at the time spent to make a decision and get moving. This style may also be seen as coddling and tolerating sub-par ideas or talent.


The Hero Leader: You believe in helping people along the way. Your cape may be hanging up, but people expect you to swoop in and save the day. If someone needs assistance, you’re in their workstation before they’re done writing the email. You are the safe place for people to vent and ask for what they need. You’ve set up mentoring and professional development programs for the next 6 months for all of your employees.

Advantage: People feel safe and supported with you. They know if they have a problem, they can come to you.

Disadvantage: You may be overstepping and assuming people need assistance rather than letting them figure it out on their own. If you’re a chronic helper, you may be over-exerting yourself to your own detriment. If you see people as need your help, you may be blocking their progress to thrive.


The Entrepreneurial Leader: Ideas are fluttering all around you. If there was a problem, yo you’ll solve it! You bring people together to tackle big projects and are starting on the next idea before 10am. You are a machine of innovation and creativity. You bring together the best and the brightest to facilitate your vision.

Advantage: People are excited to be around you. Your energy is infectiously creative and profitable. You are a renewable resource of innovation.

Disadvantage: If people aren’t on board with you, you can feel dejected. You may be moving at a speed that doesn’t enable people to understand your process. If you’ve already thought of the solution, you’re not thinking about steps 2-19 if you’re already on step 20.


The Joyful Leader: You are a ray of sunshine. Every day is a party and you want everyone to dance and sing with you. People love being around you to get their jolt of happiness.

Advantage: You’re a refreshing break for people who need to feel good. You inspire people with your goodness. People love chatting with you on the phone or stopping by your office for a chat usually lasting over 20 minutes.

Disadvantage: You may be missing the details and detached from day-to-day objectives if you’re swaying to the rhythm all day long. But who cares, you’re awesome.


The Placard Leader: You are known only by the title on the lobby door. You’re out and about being the brand.

Advantage: You get paid to be you and don’t get bogged down in minutia details. Whatever you see or say is the direction of the company.

Disadvantage: People don’t understand you and make think you’re a bit of a jerk who doesn’t get their hands dirty.


Which leader do you think is the best leader and why? Post your vote in the comment section below.


About Lauren LeMunyan, CPC, ELI-MP Lauren LeMunyan is a certified professional coach, host of Water Cooler Wednesdays and former nonprofit executive focused on increasing employee engagement, motivation and retention. Lauren facilitates group sessions, attitudinal assessments and private coaching. www.laurenlemunyan.com