Describe the different types of leaders?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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According to Paul Taffinder's book The Leader's Crash Course (2007), there are seven types of leaders.

The first type of leader is described as The Spin Doctor. Appearing to be a good leader, this type lacks substance in terms of character and integrity. As their name implies, they merely "look like" they are doing things right because, if they are wrong, they creatively look for ways to justify themselves. They are after their own interests and not those of the organization. An example of a spin doctor can be seen in show "The Office" in the character played by Steve Carrell: he seems like a good leader but he is self-centered. He changes the rules to his own advantage and is quite good at justifying it. It is an overall lack of personal conviction what renders these leaders less brilliant.

The Serial Enterpeneur, is  leader whose focus on financial gain is so huge that they become cold, calculated, and almost ruthless when going for their goal. They accomplish their financial missions and gain the admiration from others. Serial enterpeneurs can be found in industries such as Avon, Tupperware, or Mary Kay, where a consultant can earn more money and advancement within the company (lest we forget that pink-colored car!), with certain sales and recruitment quotas. Those at the top in these companies stop at nothing to get those prizes, recruit, and sell what they must to move up in rank. They are impressive leaders because earning that pink car, the bragging rights to wear a "purple suit" to a National meeting, or gaining a 50% commission ARE hard tasks to accomplish.

The visionary is the leader who dreams and does not accomplish; he has a vision but not a mission. If the visionary leader were disciplined and thorough, then it would become a transformational leader. Unfortunately, they often fall through in their plans because they think of the end product without considering the process. The Steve Carrell "The Office" character mocks also the visionary leader.

The administrator is basically a high-achieving micro-manager that needs to control and regulate everything to accomplish a goal. These leaders are effective in that they get the work done. However, they are not popular with their peers and workers because they do not honor independent skills nor talent in others.

The deal maker is dynamic, hyperactive and charismatic. They have great ways to "shortcut" towards a goal and are quite popular. They are unfortunately not thorough nor process-oriented. They seek instant gratification the quick productivity that is never guaranteed in the business world. They are useful, but only for short-term projects.

The enforcer is meticulous in following rules and procedures to accomplish a goal and is not a risk taker like the deal maker. They are the paternal figure of authority and good conduct often appreciated in companies that are stable. The majority of new leaders are enforcers since it guarantees job safety: "nobody wants a mover and a shaker".

The transformational leaders have strength in all leadership dimensions, from conviction, to integrity, creativity, and discipline. Their unique ideas, their thorough characters, and their consistent methodologies are what move companies from good to great. They are unique and gifted with multiple talents. Most importantly, they are focused, detailed, and goal-based. They are the best leaders out of the other categories.

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