What kind of leader are you?
Do you know? Because the people you lead sure do!
Leaders come in many shapes and sizes, but today I’d like to explore two different kinds of leaders that create two very different kinds of teams, organizations, and experiences.
The first is the “Champion.”
The champion is someone who wants to see others succeed in all that they do.
They see the potential in others and create opportunities for them to flourish.
The champion knows that as they support and encourage their team members that these team members will feel valued and appreciated, and therefore serve out of a desire to see the team (and team leader) be successful in whatever they do.
The champion understands that each team member needs different things in order to be successful – and strives to provide those things.
The champion also understands that their team members could serve in any number of different contexts – because they’re great (that’s why they were chosen to be a part of the team in the first place) – and therefore see their time with team members as a chance to grow them and further prepare them for whatever might come next (whether within the team or organization, or not).
The champion is a gift to the team that they lead because they cherish the effort, gifts, and overall contributions that each team member brings to the table.
The champion is awesome!
Then there’s the “Loyalist.”
The loyalist is the antithesis of the champion.
The loyalist is only concerned with the success of others in so much as it feeds into their own success. If it doesn’t profit the leader, then the success of the team members will be ignored or potentially even seen as a threat.
The loyalist sees the potential in others in ways that will serve their own needs. The loyalist is really only concerned about self.
The loyalist often lords their position over the people they lead (in ways that are not always so obvious), demanding respect and loyalty in extreme measure, and team members serve out of a sense of fear or obligation.
The loyalist doesn’t care to know what different team members need in order to thrive. Their sole concern is the bottom line, the end product, and ultimately, their own reputation.
The loyalist believes that their team is the ONLY team that anyone should want to be a part of. Therefore there is little effort made to understand the needs, or invest in the team or individual team members, in any ways other than might be personally and immediately beneficial to the team leader. Ultimately, the loyalist believes that everyone on the team is expendable if they are no longer benefiting the leader.
In the end, the loyalist is a virus within the team, infecting everyone with their self-serving and self-centered agenda. The loyalist systematically fractures and splinters the team into there is little if anything left.
I don’t believe anyone ever sets out to be a loyalist kind of leader.
And yet the world is full of them.
Christians can be loyalists.
Ministry and organizational leaders can be loyalists.
Student leaders can be loyalists.
Any one of us has the potential to become a loyalist kind of leader if we are not mindful of what is shaping our hearts and minds as a leader.
At the same time, every one us has the potential to be a champion. But it requires that we are intentional to serve in ways that are honoring and edifying of those we’ve been entrusted to lead.
So, what kind of leader are you?