[MMM] The “Not So Secret, Secret” to Building Great Teams

Good Monday morning,
It’s so easy to paint leaders and the elements of leadership with the same broad strokes, but every great leader has their style. There is no “leadership mold” that you can squeeze yourself into. Your style, while shaped by external factors, will ultimately come from within yourself.
One of the key things that you should think about is your leadership style. Just as writers, actors and painters have a unique “voice”, so do leaders. One of my favorite things to do with leaders is to help them find and enhance their leadership style.
My favorite example of two dramatically different, but effective, leadership styles is that of Steve Jobs and the current CEO of Apple, Tim Cook. They are different because they are unique human beings. Great leaders own their individuality.

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Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries is the Distinguished Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD. He is author of The Hedgehog Effect: The Secrets of Building High-Performance Teams. He has done an excellent job leadership into 8 types:


The strategist: Leadership as a game of chess. You are good at providing vision, strategic direction, and outside-the-box thinking.


The change-catalyst: Leadership as a turnaround activity. You love messy situations. You are skilled at re-engineering and creating new organizational ”blueprints.”


The transactor: Leadership as deal making. You are great at identifying and tackling new opportunities and you thrive on negotiations.


The builder: Leadership as an entrepreneurial activity. You dream of creating something and have the talent and determination to make your dream come true.


The innovator: Leadership as generating creative ideas. You are focused on the new and possess a high capacity to solve extremely difficult problems.


The processor: Leadership as an exercise in efficiency.You like organizations to be well-oiled machines. Very effective at setting up the structures and systems needed to support an organization’s objectives.


The coach: Leadership as a way to develop people. You know how to get the best out of people, thus creating high-performance cultures.


The communicator: Leadership as stage management. You are a strong influencer and have a considerable impact on your surroundings.


You will probably say that a few of them resonate with you. My observation in using this type of model is to appreciate that while we are all a blend, there is one that stands out with others as secondary styles. If you’re unsure, try sending this to some of the people in your network and ask them what they think best describes you.


Good leaders are not all things to all people. Get to know yourself and your primary style. Only then can a great career be nurtured and developed.


Along the road with you,




P.S. Register to join our next free weekly 45 minute CareerClass Webinar on LinkedIn strategy on December 6 at 12:00 pm EST. Learn about marketing your skills, using LinkedIn to work with recruiters, target decision makers and more.


P.P.S. Become a better leader within the Federal Public Service by leveraging your Personal Learning Plan. Learn how by registering for our upcoming free lunch and information session for public servants on Wednesday, December 16, 2017 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST at 251 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 900.