What Makes a Leader? 3 types of Leadership

Written by Joanne

Topics: Leadership

What makes a leader? There are 3 types of leadership designations:

1) A self-proclaimed leader.

Calling yourself a leader does not make you one. The first test of leadership is whether anyone is following you.

I once had the experience of joining a community group where one gentleman announced that he was the chairman. The problem was, no one was interested in following his rules and he had no goals for the group. His only objective was to be in charge. Obviously, this is not a leader.

2) Formally bestowed leaders.

These are the people in organizations that are given the title that implies leadership, such as the Athletic Director, the Executive Director, the Editor-in-Charge. They often are put in charge and have direct control over hiring/firing, pay raises and the like. In large organizations, they have an insatiable appetite for status reports and powerpoint presentations. Because of their position in the organization, they are the individuals that set the direction for the team. Formally designated leaders can fall anywhere in the range from excellent to poor, depending on the criteria used by the system that put them there.

3) Informally acknowledged leaders.

These are the people that are the de facto leaders that the team listens to. They may or may not be formal leaders, but they have earned the respect from the team because they demonstrate some leadership competencies. This is the person who understands what needs to be done and sets the direction, the person that will speak up and take responsibility for moving a project forward. Informal leaders do not have to be permanent leaders – they are often elevated to lead the team during the point in the project where they have the most competence. Once that phase is complete, the lead role may pass to someone else.

If you want to build up your business, you need to surround yourself with people who are comfortable with the concept of temporary leadership. These are people who can take or pass the lead role based on the situation and not let ego get in the way. Your role is to oversee the process.

What kind of leader are you?

Comments are closed.