Which Style Winds Up Leading?

This is the second of a 3-part series focusing on the natural leadership characteristics of each Style.

While you have likely experienced leaders of all different Market Force Styles throughout your career, you probably haven’t encountered an even distribution of Styles across those roles. In fact, it’s likely a really uneven distribution.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that more Controls wind up in leadership positions than the other Styles. But, why that is has more to do with their survival concerns than their true leadership abilities or potential.

Controls, whose primary concern is for certainty, continually feel “out of sorts” when they perceive a lack of direction within their team. They need to know where they’re going and why they’re doing what they’re doing – at all times – or else their biology goes into an uproar.

When this happens, their strategy for managing it is to take charge and start telling others what to do (dictating), often forcing themselves into leadership positions and upon others. They take on leadership roles because they perceive that others lack the competence to do so and because it just feels good to have others following.

But, it’s totally different for the other three Styles.

Influences are often “reluctant” leaders. While they love to spark new ideas and get others excited about achieving them, when it comes time to do the consistent work of moving others forward toward a new possibility, the burden of carrying that singular concern for so many for so long can often trigger their primary concern for freedom. When the fun factor of the project starts to subside, their attention drifts to new ideas, and they will happily let others on their team pick up the responsibility for leading.

Powers don’t often think about leading until they look around and notice that nobody else is doing it. Their need for stability requires that somebody on the team be willing to keep an eye on the horizon and make sure that the team is able to work consistently toward their common goals. Quite often, Powers will step into leadership roles because “somebody has to do it” and Powers tend to be more willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the team than any of the other Styles.

Authorities can sometimes be the least likely of all Styles to wind up in a leadership role because they tend to be the most solitary of all the Styles and avoid unnecessary interactions with others. Further, the role of being a leader requires foresight and they’re typically more comfortable with hindsight, meaning they’d rather keep their eye on the bottom line than on the horizon. And, they are usually more comfortable measuring how well a team is doing over time rather than taking the responsibility to make sure the team works together successfully along the way.

Next up: Getting past your survival mindset to lead others greater intention influences your leadership path.

About the Author / Tony Cooper
Tony instigates breakthrough performance for businesses through his fascination of playing the “game behind the game”. He brings out the best in business leaders by helping them simplify complicated issues and supporting them to gain new skills and insights quickly. Tony has been training, coaching, and consulting since 2002, serving his passion of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit. He graduated with distinction from Cornell University, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In Tony's youth he was a nationally-ranked diver and Tae Kwon Do martial artist. And now after a lifetime of city dwelling, he is raising his family on a farm in Davis, California.