Types of Leaders

Types of Leaders

Today I am looking at the different types of leaders. There have been several books and articles about the different types of leaders, but this post is designed around four basics. I bet you can think of people you have interacted with that fall into each of the four categories, great leaders, good leaders, poor leaders, and hated leaders.

Types of Leaders

Great Leaders

There are many variables that go into what make a great leader. This post is not about that, rather it is about what the end result of a great leader is. At the end of the day, great leaders are present, but people do not even notice their existence. They simply exist and function without followers even realizing the positive impact the leader is having on them at this point. This is what John C. Maxwell titles the Level Five leader in The Five Levels of Leadership, one of the rarest forms of leadership in existence.

Good Leaders

Below the highest level of leaders are the good leaders. These are the dedicated professionals that the majority of positive leadership falls within. Good leaders are honored and praised for their abilities and dedication to others. At this level, people follow you because you are you. You have added value to their life and earned respect.

Poor Leaders

Poor leaders can commonly be referred to as managers. They use positional authority to instill fear in their subordinates and treat people simply as cogs in the machine that function. These are the leaders that cause people to fear them and have no influence, no respect, and lack a majority of characteristics and qualities of leadership. At this point of leadership, the organization has been impacted negatively because of the poor leadership.

Hated Leaders

The worst type of leader falls into the hated leader category. These leaders are so far below the line that their people actually hate them. Most of the time this is where unethical leaders that are simply self-serving reside. Blame is placed upon everyone else, but credit is taken from the team to stroke the leader’s ego.

What’s it matter?

One of my favorite quotes is “people leave leaders, not organizations”. Obviously this isn’t the case 100% of the time, but it does hold true. When I personally was miserable at an employer years ago, my view was completely reversed in a short time when a new leader took over. The culture of the entire organization changed and people began taking ownership of the organization. To understand what I mean by ownership, review my article Do You Rent or Own Your Organization? Think about how you drive a rental car versus your own car.

Question: I would love to hear how the different types of leaders have impacted your life. You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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