Types of Leaders

Types of Leaders

This article identifies different types of leaders and the followers they create. In addition to this, it also mentions how each kind of leader can grow.

 Negative Leaders

  1.  Unpredictable leaders produce hesitant followers. If you ever have the misfortune of working for an unpredictable leader, you never know what they’re going to do next. Since you don’t know what to expect, you inevitably become hesitant, fearful, and tentative. It’s impossible for the team to find consistency. If you think you might be an unpredictable leader, work on consistency. When you say the same thing over and over again as a leader, that builds trust. When your actions are consistent with your words that build trust. Consistency matters in leadership. People would follow a leader rather with a consistently average plan than a leader with a great plan, bad plan or a mediocre plan that changes all the time. Successful people do consistently what normal people do occasionally. Don’t be an unpredictable leader.
  2.  Domineering leaders produce compliant followers. These leaders will have the attitude of my way or highway or because I said so that’s why or we are going to do what I want to do or your voice doesn’t matter. Finally, This is the way it is going to be. Domineering leaders create week teams. These types of leaders will intimidate or threaten people into following them. This might produce short-term results, but long term, they can be devastating. Domineering leaders foster a culture of ‘yes’ people. They might get compliance, but not commitment. The bigger your organization gets the more people are likely to fear you. Be intentional about not bullying your team or organization. Ask questions and really listen. A good rule of thumb is to ask ten times more questions than you give directions. Getting the insight and the wisdom from your team matters more than you can imagine. If you are the only one bringing direction, ideas, you will be the ceiling on your organization.
  3.  Secretive leaders produce guarded followers. If you as a leader, keep all the information or there are just a few people at the top know what’s going on then what we are doing is that we are communicating to people that we don’t trust the people that are serving our organization. And the reality is if we don’t trust them then how in the world can we expect them to trust us? If your people are guarded, they’re not going to give you feedback. And if they don’t give you feedback, your days as an effective leader are numbered. That’s why transparency, vulnerability, and honesty are so important for leaders. Simon Sinek said it this way: “A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people who trust each other.” Be sure to use this as an opportunity to identify where you are and use it as an opportunity to have an honest conversation with your team. As leaders, we only see the organization in one direction. The people that are on the front lines are thinking about solutions to the problems that we do not even know exist. We have to engage their minds, their heart and their commitment to contribute to the organization or we are always going to be limited by what we know and what we can do. As a leader, if you are surrounded by people that cannot or will not tell the truth, your days of effectiveness are very numbered. We need to be transparent and we need to be vulnerable. We need to be honest when we communicate the information so that people can trust you. So we need to refuse to be secretive in our leadership. One of the biggest problem in a growing organization is that we tend to assume that people know everything. We should never assume. Communicate, communicate and communicate. The more they know the more they care.
  4.  Passive leaders produce disengaged followers. If there’s a problem everyone can see, but the leader doesn’t fix it, eventually the problem is not the real issue—it’s the leader. In other words, when a leader doesn’t address the problem, the problem is no longer the problem. The problem becomes the leader. If a leader doesn’t care, the team isn’t going to care and they will become disengaged. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to overcoming passivity. If you’ve been a passive leader, start by doing something. If you find yourself being more passive right now, it might be because you are discouraged, you feel overwhelmed, might be because you feel slightly helpless or might be because you don’t know what to do. But if you are a leader, you are the one capable of making changes. If you are not supposed to be the leader, I believe you would be replaced as a leader. As a leader, it is your job to make changes. It’s OK to admit I don’t know what to do, I am not even sure what step to take next? Acknowledging the problem is the first step to overcome passivity. Then start doing something about it. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. Once there is forward momentum, it’s easier to adjust a moving car than it is one just sitting stillAn average plan is better than no plan.

 Positive Leaders

  1. Healthy leaders produce faithful followers. Instead of being unpredictable, a healthy leader has a clear vision. Instead of being domineering, a healthy leader listens and collaborates. Instead of being secretive, a healthy leader is transparent and trusting. Instead of being passive, a healthy leader is active. A healthy leader is engaged daily in the organization. If you work for a healthy leader, you’re going to want to follow, sacrifice, and give your best. The next type of leader, however, is a step beyond healthy.
  2.  Empowering leaders don’t just produce followers, they produce other great leaders. Empowering leaders are going to do all the things a healthy leader does, and then do more. Empowering leaders are not focused on themselves. Instead, they empower people with the ability to say ‘yes’ to opportunities and vision. If people deep within the organization have the ability to say ‘yes,’ you have an empowering culture. People often ask how do you get and keep great staff members? I say you don’t just get them, you build them. You don’t find them, you mould them. The way you keep them is by giving them significant leadership responsibilities. If you just tell them to do what I tell you to do, they are going to be followers. I always tell team members that as a leader you can have control or you can have growth, but you cannot have both. If we delegate tasks, we are actually creating followers. We are creating people that only know how to do what we have directly asked them to do. That’s why as leaders we don’t just delegate tasks, instead, we delegate authority. If we delegate tasks we are creating followers but if we delegate authority we are creating leaders. Listen, if you wonder why you don’t keep some of your great employees. I will tell you why you don’t keep some of them. Because you have not let them soar. You have been a lid on them. You have told them what to do but you haven’t given them the freedom to create. When they create they don’t always get it right. But they learn and get better. As leaders we are going to do is that we are going to make decisions that only we can make and we are going to delegate the other decisions deeper into the organization. The better you become as a leader the fewer decisions you make. Your favourite words should be: “I trust you.”, “I believe in you.”, “You decide.”

 Remember you don’t have to know it all to be a great leader. Be yourself. Why, because people would rather follow a leader who is always real than one who is always right.

 If you have a team, then gather them and ask these questions:

  1. How unpredictable am I as a leader?
  2. What are one or two things I can do to build trust with predictability?
  3. Am I ever domineering? or How am I domineering?
  4. What can I do to make sure everyone has a chance to offer their wisdom?
  5. What are the 3 things that I could share that will help people feel valued and care more about our mission?
  6. Ask them what do you not know that you want to know?
  7. How deep into our organization have we empowered people to say yes?

 Resources: Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

Are you managing your time or priorities?

Manage Your Priorities

One of the growth area’s that I have identified for myself during this year is time management, in other words, getting grip on my time as much as possible. Family time, work-life balance, conducting meetings without fail, honouring others time, starting and stopping meetings on time, working on important things rather than urgent things and investing my best in what matters the most, creating and guarding the organization culture and building strong leaders are few focus areas for now. This article reflects some of my learnings and insights to date and thoughts that I have developed after reading a few books and listening to some of the great leaders.

Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Everyone’s busy these days and life shows no sign of slowing down.  I don’t think we can manage time because it goes on. However, to make the best use of the time you don’t manage time but you manage yourself and your priorities. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have. Time stewardship is perhaps a leader’s greatest responsibility. In the words of Peter Drucker, “Nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.

Time is our most valuable, non-replenishing resource. We can always make more money, but we cannot make more time. If we would like to have a strong marriage, raise strong and grounded children and have a most satisfying professional career then we must learn to use our time wisely. Effective use of time is one of life’s most important skill and the problem is that formal education don’t teach this generally and most of the parents rarely model the time management for their kids. Poor time management results in well-intentioned leaders who consistently allow the urgent to overwhelm the important. Chances are you know someone like this or chances are you may be someone like this. Have you ever felt like there are so many things to do? Do this and this and this and all are urgent. We can’t get to important things since the urgent things overrule the important things. As long as urgent overrules the importance we will never be effective as leaders.

Schedule your values. Prioritize what is most important to you in your calendar. Good time management doesn’t mean you do more, it means you do more of what matters most.  Let me repeat this so that you can internalize it better -Good time management doesn’t mean you do more, it means you do more of what matters most.  It means you are doing more things which don’t matter to you and less of things which do matter to you. You may say the family is important to me and I would like to have a good time with my kids but you are overwhelmed with work. You may be thinking so long that you wish you could read but you are overwhelmed with other things. You will get frustrated  If you are not doing the things you value the most. In other words, the difference between the values you embrace and the life you live equals the frustration you experience.

Determine your incontestable Items —they go on the calendar first. Invest your best in what matters most. Always remember we all have time to do what we choose to have time to do. You are in control of everything. You make the choices. Chances are many of us are doing a lot of things we don’t have to do. So what are your non-negotiable or incontestable items? Workouts? Family? Meeting with leadership team? Creating and guarding the culture? Identifying, equipping and empowering leaders?

Identify the activities you value. The greatest time management tool from the 19th century economist Vilfredo Pareto. The Pareto Principle states that if we devote our energy, time, and resources to the top 20% of our priorities, we’ll achieve 80% of the results we desire. The Pareto principle also is known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It means 20% of what you do accounts for 80% of your nonnegotiables. Hence invest your best in what matters the most.

Increasing our margin time. The margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating. It is the opposite of overload. Margin time is very important since your best ideas happen during this time. When you are rushed and every activity seems so urgent then you don’t have time to reflect or dream or think big. Best ideas always come from margin time.  Hence we need to protect our margin time.

  • Try to have the impromptu meetings in someone else’s office. Because if they are in your office it is hard to get them to leave. But if you go to their office as soon as you are done you can walk out
  • Limit the length of your appointments. Tell them up front how long you can spend time for this meeting. Be honest and real about it and stick to the timelines.
  • Don’t take calls or text during the day. Avoid them as much as possible so that your momentum would not breakdown.
  • Validate and reduce your meeting times and frequencies

Say ‘NO’ to many small things to say ‘YES’ to a few big things. People don’t pay for average. If your skill level is a 2, don’t waste substantial time trying to improve because you’ll likely never grow beyond a 4. However, if you’re a 7in an area, hone that skill, because when you become a nine, you’ve reached a rare level of expertise. As Jim Sundberg says, “Discover your uniqueness; then discipline yourself to develop it.”

Identify your major time wasters and work to eliminate them. Everyone falls prey to certain time wasters, based on personality or work habits. Use your time log to discover yours. Then target and try to eliminate one each week. We are living in an era where we need to start maintaining to don’t list besides a to-do list to avoid all the distractions offered by technology.

The barrier to a meaningful life for most leaders is not a lack of commitment but overcommitment. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re doing the right things. If you are an entrepreneur or in a start-up space then you get a lot of ideas. Just because you have a good idea doesn’t mean it’s the right idea. The question that we want to ask is should we do this instead of can we do this?  Just because you can do something does not mean you should do something. Do the things which give you the highest return on your time and energy investment.

Create virtual deadlines for increased effectiveness. Setting these deadlines forces you to make decisions and tackle projects more aggressively. People move more quickly when a deadline is closer. Virtual deadlines help you do three things: make decisions faster, delegate what others can do, and eliminate what you shouldn’t be doing in the first place. You’ll get better results with less effort.

Delegation is the key. If you delegate tasks, you’ll build followers who only do what they’re told. If you delegate authority, you’ll build leaders. You don’t find great leaders—you build great leaders. How do you keep great leaders? You let them lead. The less you do has a big impact on your organization, and that is the same with an organization as a whole. The best organizations do a few things, and they do them well.

I am sure you will agree when I say that the crucial parts of the flight are the take-off and landing. They’re the most dangerous, and the most complicated. As a leader, you have an opportunity to involve yourself in the most important milestones of the project. Therefore, the best way of delegation is following the 10-80-10 Principle. For any project, divide the total process (100%) into the first 10%, the middle 80%, and the last 10%. Then, involve yourself in the first and last 10%. The middle 80% should be carried by your team. You add value to the first 10% in order to get the project started on the right track. Then you hand it off to the team. Later you interact a little bit with them, but not much. It’s really your team’s baby. After the team has taken the project almost to completion, you dive back in again to validate the final outcome and find ways to add value in the final 10%.

Heartsill Wilson said, “God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it – or use it for good, but what I do today is important, because I am exchanging a day of my life for it!” When you open your eyes tomorrow morning, remind yourself that it holds incredible possibilities. You can allow that day to slip away from you, or you can use it to make things happen. The choice is yours.


  • What are the things you value most that you are not doing?
  • What are you going to do to change it?
  • What do you need to add to your “to-don’t” list? What are your three most important issues that have been crowded out by urgent issues?


  • Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast – It’s about time Part 1 & 2
  • Get a Grip on Time by Dan Rockwell @ American Management Association
  • John C Maxwell Blog
  • Success: One Day At A Time – John C Maxwell