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What Type of Leader Are You? Typical Character Traits

3rd November 2014 | Erik de Haan, Anthony Kasozi

In this extract, we look at some specific character traits displayed by business people – from the ‘charming manipulator’ to the ‘simmering stalwart’. This article by Anthony Kasozi was originally published on Company Bug.

The Leadership Shadow (9780749470494)Most executives and leaders we meet are curious about how best how they come across to others. They are particularly concerned to find out more about how to be seen to be effective. Those that work with them are equally curious. Often the first question you hear asked about anyone taking up a leadership role is “what kind of leader is he/she?”

In The Leadership Shadow, we examine in some detail some of the ways you can inquire into and understand better the leadership patterns you have. We refer and summarise patterns briefly here, presenting a typology of 11 distinct patterns experienced when executives go into relational myopia and overdrive.

If you are an executive keen to understand better how others experience you, you may recognise some of your own patterns and the patterns of others around you in these descriptions.*

Movers and Shakers

1. “The Charming Manipulator”- which we have linked to ‘anti-social’ characteristics – moves to charm and dazzle you and to engineer a very impressive performance.

2. “The Playful Encourager” – which we have linked to ‘passive-aggressive’ characteristics – moves to encourage others and find encouragement, being both sensitive to motivation and reluctant to act when not motivated.

3. “The Glowing Gatsby” – which we have linked to ‘narcissistic’ characteristics – moves to propel him- or herself forward into a glorious future, impressing everyone around them.

4. “The Detached Diplomat” – which we have linked to ‘schizoid’ characteristics – distinguishes him- or herself by not being moved in those occasions where other people would be: their main characteristic is a stoic, tough or detached form of ‘non-movement’.

Rigorous Thinkers

1. “The Responsible Workaholic” which we have linked to ‘obsessive-compulsive’ characteristics – ruminates about his every action and doggedly carries it out with rich detail and self-monitoring.

2. “The Impulsive Loyalist” – which we have linked to ‘borderline’ characteristics – ruminates in a more excited way, vacillating between optimism and pessimism.

3. “The Brilliant Sceptic” which we have linked to ‘paranoid’ characteristics – is a critical thinker, full of suspicions about other people’s motives.

4. “The Creative Daydreamer” which we have linked to ‘schizotypal’ characteristics – is a creative thinker with endless supplies of great ideas that however rarely get executed.

Sensitive Carers

1. “The Virtuous Supporter” – which we have linked to ‘dependent’ characteristics – feels for other people and wants to be a good team player for them.

2. “The Accomplished Thespian” which we have linked to ‘histrionic’ characteristics – overflows with feeling, particularly their own private feelings.

3. “The Simmering Stalwart” which we have linked to ‘avoidant’ characteristics – also overflows with feeling, but more in a concerned and troubled sort of way.

In The Leadership Shadow, we describe classic patterns of derailment and offer help to discover how these patterns may show up and how they might may be relevant to you. You can order The Leadership Shadow for 20% off the RRP with no charge for shipping in the UK with the code SHADOW1. Just enter it at the checkout on this site.

*Please note this is a very high level summary description and more detail and information underpins and informs each of these


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