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13 Ways to Look at a Leader
UXL, June 2012

What’s the secret behind great leadership? There’s no “right” response to the question; All of us will answer differently because there are a multitude of different leadership styles.
Recently, INC Magazine published an article outlining 13 different ways to look at a leader. Before you inspect the list below, take a moment to consider an exemplary leader who you’ve experienced personally. What were the things that made this person strong and valuable?

Inc’s 13 Ways of Looking at a Leader
  1. Adaptive: Leaders who are open to new approaches and practiced at helping their people to adjust to big and unfamiliar changes.
  2. Emotionally Intelligent: When leaders are aware of their own feelings and the feelings of others, they’re experts at influencing others and managing relationships.
  3. Charismatic: We’ve all taken the class with the professor who very obviously would rather be fishing. No fun, right? Charismatic people are awesome motivators and morale builders.
  4. Authentic: In the famous novel Heart of Darkness, the main character Marlow heads deep into the Congo and faces temptations aplenty. The only thing that sustains his quest is his loyalty to his own core set of values. These leaders take a cue from Marlow and cling fervently to the beliefs that embody their character.
  5. Level 5: This rare mix of characteristics includes a restless pursuit of goals, enviable humility, a propensity for sharing credit, a willingness to shoulder blame, the placement of organization before self, and a modest ego. This is Mother Teresa style leadership.
  6. Mindful: These leaders offer organizations healthy checks and balances—the rethinking and the questions—that are really necessary to grow.
  7. Narcissistic: Sure, these leaders can be some of the biggest headaches, but they can also be extremely productive and tend to continue to thrive during rough times.
  8. No-Excuse: This is a mentality founded on accountability and mental toughness that finds its birthplace in the higher ranks of the military.
  9. Resonant: A resonant leader knows that morale is contagious and understands the payoff of taking time to reflect and reconnect.
  10. Servant: The spirit of true organizational service is not one-directional, but reciprocal and spanning the entire structure of people. These are the leaders who aim to serve.
  11. Storytelling: The most effective way to connect with others or outline a complex thought is through storytelling.
  12. Strengths-Based: These leaders are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and others, and they base their leadership on this insight.
  13. Tribal: This style of leadership is focused on shared values and beliefs that create a culture and unite a group.
When I reflect on the most memorable leaders in my career, it’s tough to find one that held all of these features. They were, nonetheless, great examples of the leaders who are impactful. Most importantly, these leaders made those who worked with and for them feel good about the work they did--they knew they were valued for their contributions. I never minded working hard or thinking hard, and knew why my effort was important.

If you're interested in learning more about any of these 13 leadership types, check out the resources listed on the original article: inc.com.magazine/201206/leigh-bucjanan/management-13-ways-of-looking-at-a-leader.html 

Have fun with this list and make an attempt to incorporate some of these leaderhip elements into your style!

Margaret Smith
Founder, UXL: Creating Successful Leaders
Margaret Smith Bio

Ready to discover your gifts and the gifts of others? Contact me to see positive change through an Insights Discovery Assessment!

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