Volumes have been written about leadership. Philosophers, thinkers and writers through the ages have pondered the characteristics of leadership and great leaders from all walks of life. If you run a business–you’re a leader. So what kind of leader are you?
I have adopted writer Stuart Emory’s definition of leadership. Simply stated, leadership is the “quality of your presence”. In everything! Every area of your life is an expression of the quality of your very existence. As you already know, entrepreneurs are leaders.
So I ask you–what is the quality of your presence?
For entrepreneurs and business leaders, there are two answers to this question– first, your own perception of its quality and the perception of the marketplace. Which begs a third question–do these two align?
No one will disagree that leadership is essential to life success, but it’s the “quality” of the leadership that determine the velocity of life success. Some people seem like natural born leaders, bestowed with special gifts and powers, others struggle for years, even a lifetime, to master the skills of great leaders.
In working with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders over a long period of time, I’ve formed a matrix of archetypes to help me determine what level of quality their leadership provides to themselves, their teams, their colleagues and most importantly their customers. For as we all know, your business and life success is dependent on the quality of your leadership.
In order lowest to highest, here are five archetypes of leadership quality:
The Boss Leader
This is the lowest form of leadership. You’re the boss… end of story. People have to do what you say and think because their job depends on it. It’s default leadership. Enough said.
The Servant Leader
A step above the Boss, this quality level is centered in the importance of building relationships with others. Naturally, people work better with others when they have a relationship. This leader recognizes that life is basically a people business. To make progress, these leaders focus on cooperation and service, rather than the command and control mentality of the Boss.
The Producer Leader
This level of leadership is about being the shining example. This leader produces results. They lead and inspire their teams by their own example. The have obvious expertise and skill they can scale in others–producing extraordinary results. They are the “out front” leaders having equal amounts of the Boss and Servant attributes, but they get shit done.
The Teacher Leader
Moving up a notch, the Teacher is about increasing the capacity of others to get what they want. They show the way by increase people’s capacity to share a grand vision, empower people to be self reliant, to think for themselves, to work in their own style and from their own strengths. There is no hierarchy structure to the Teacher’s leadership. They equip their people with all the necessary resources they need to be successful.
The Respected Leader
This is the Jedi Knight level of leadership quality. Respected leaders are master of their game. Their trust and integrity is without compromise. They possess a rare level of authority that’s been earned and worthy of the trust and respect from all they come into contact with. It is the platinum leadership level encompassing authority, service, results and empowerment for others to create extraordinary success. Elevating the quality of life experience for all is the hallmark of a respected leader.
This poor ol’ world surely needs more respected leadership in every area of our society. Entrepreneurs are the change agents who dare to step out and create new value in the world and lead markets. You're one of them.
With this in mind, ask yourself a diagnostic question. What level of leadership do you think you are currently bringing to the world?
Remember we usually attract what we are rather than what we want. Your current circumstances are the evidence of the quality of your presence. As you grow in your leadership, everything else naturally grows along with you.
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