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Archetypes of Leadership



In today’s complex business environment, with the added challenges of remote work and digital transformation, leaders need to grow business, drive culture across teams and strategically plan for years into the future.


Good leadership is what drives every organization forward. Teams or departments will have specific goals, and leaders will be tasked to drive talent to those goals most efficiently. Care must be taken when finding the best fit to lead teams since leaders shape teams.


Organizations are always looking for strategies to be a step ahead with solutions. As Manfred outlined in his Harvard Business Review article, The Eight Archetypes of Leadership, I found it quite interesting, so this article can assist in locating at least one prospect of these leadership archetypes in leading teams.


The Strategist: The first of these leaders is the strategist. They are natural planners, providing detailed step-by-step plans. They are great at dealing with organizational developments, providing vision, strategic direction, and outside-the-box thinking. The strategist works best with teams that can follow instructions.


The Change-catalyst: This leader strives during crises and views leadership as a turnaround activity. They love messy situations, and they are masters of re-engineering. They are forward thinkers and know how to deal with resistance and pushback. They work best with a team of cooperative people.


The Transactor: This leader is likened to a salesperson since they perceive leadership as deal-making. They possess high convincing power and are skilled at identifying and tacking new opportunities. They are great negotiators and know best how a loss can be a win. They work best with highly qualified teams that know their value.


The Builder: These leaders can make an organization succeed from scratch or rise from the ashes because they see leadership as an entrepreneurial activity. The builder moves teams, departments, and companies to put one foot in front of the other and move forward. All they need is a mission and a project to believe in, and they will make it happen as they value the craft of creating and birthing ideas into the real world and work well with structured teams.


The Innovator: They view leadership as creative idea generation, and no obstacle is big enough to stop an innovator. They focus on the new and possess a great capacity to solve complicated problems. They are creative and want to forge new pathways to reach their goals and work best with communicative and creative teams who want to impact the world and are not afraid of mistakes.


The Processor: They are the right fit to get things done, and they view leadership as an exercise in efficiency. They want everything to be in order and to run smoothly. These leaders tend to treat teams that are in sync and need everyone to be on board with the mission.


The Coach: Every organization needs this leader as they are viewed as a form of people development. They build teams from the ground up and are people-oriented. They know how to use their most valuable resource, which is talent. Any team could work as their ideal team because the coach is all about developing; they are natural teachers and look at weak points as learning opportunities.


The Communicator: Finally, we have communicators who view leadership as stage management and are always prepared for questions. They are great listeners and know when to be quiet to get to know the full picture and are great at working with large teams or organizations.


Most organizations strive to have each of these leaders co-existing in leading various teams for the greatest effectiveness. It helps to recognize how you and your colleagues can individually make your best contributions for the road ahead.


What’s your archetype/s of leadership?


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