On the Three Types of Leaders

in #life4 years ago (edited)

Three Types of Leadership


There are three types of leaders, or more accurately three styles of leadership, you'll encounter through life or be one of yourself. The Friend, the Tyrant, and the Natural Born leader. I'd wager 99% of the population falls under one of the first two by default. Let's explore the three types.

The Friend

The friendly leader is easy to follow. They treat you with respect. They are rewarding to work for. They make you feel at ease. They are ineffective leaders.

Initially the friendly leader gets results and motivates their followers. They care about and have compassion and empathy for those they lead... and those they lead come to know this. Familiarity develops between leader and the lead.

In time their followers, consciously or unconsciously, begin asking for favors. "Hey I hate doing that task, will you ask Joe instead?", "Don't give me the third shift, I'm exhausted.", and the like is how it begins. A leader, from time to time, must have their followers doing things they don't want to do. They must enforce the rules impartially. They must punish those who break those rules with a firm and fair hand. This is the nature of leadership.

Familiarity and fraternization undermine leadership. This is why different tiers of leadership in business or in the military have controls and rules in place to prevent fraternization.

These makeup a little under half the world.

The Tyrant

The tyrant is a horrible person to work for, like the stereotypical asshole boss, but they get results where the friendly leader cannot. Friendly leaders can find they become tyrants when their own leadership is of the tyrant variety and applies pressure to exact results from them. As the saying goes "shit rolls down hill" and so does pressure and tyrannical leadership.

The tyrant gets results, but with a number of critical problems. An unhappy and unmotivated workforce produces only the bare minimum necessary to avoid the tyrants wraith. They never excel.

What's far worse is the proverbial "Sword of Damocles" ever present over the tyrants head. The tyrant gets results from their followers by promising consequences if they don't deliver those results. There is loyalty only so far as the tyrant can make good on their threat to the followed. With the going gets tough, the tough get outta there. The tyrant finds they will be abandoned and alone precisely in the hour of greatest need. The truly tyrannical eventually die by the sword they lead with.

These are probably a little over half the leaders of the world.

The Natural Born

Ahhh the natural born leader. The true leader. These are maybe only 1-2%. They are what myths and legends are made of. They are your Pattons, Smedley Butlers, Chesty Pullers, William Wallaces, Alexander the Greats, Leonidas's Jon Snows and Maximus Decimus Meridius's.

You feel compelled to follow them. The command your loyalty without asking, and you give it without hesitation. They are firm, but fair. They reward the good and punish the bad. They make you feel like a cherished and close friend without even knowing your name. Over the course of mankind's history untold numbers of men and women have willingly and gladly sacrificed their lives because they truly believed in their leader, and because they truly believed their leader would do the same for them. And often times true leaders have.

For the Rest of Us

Almost all of us fall into the first two types. For my part, I know I am a natural friendly leader. I have a distaste for being unfair, harsh, or compulsory. However I recognize what kind of leader I am, and more importantly what kind of leader I should strive to be. I proactively work toward that end, resisting my natural tendencies.

The true leader is the only one compatible with anarchism, as it's the only one who leads without any need for compulsion or force. Why sort of leader are you, and how can you work towards becoming a true leader?

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I, too, am the friendly leader type. I must work on that.

Knowing's half the battle ;-)