Two Images of Leadership: Which One Is Your Way?

Here are the images. I am sure you will see my bias from the beginning. Take a look at the images. What do you see going on? What is happening? What style of leadership is represented? What kind of leadership do you admire? Which one is most descriptive of the way you lead?

disconnected leadership or leadership out in front of the crowd  what do you see

true leadership the power of inclusion, language, shared values, consensus, coalition

The first image could be that of the visionary, stand out in front of the followers kind of leader that is so often admired (as well as resented) in our culture today. It can also be the leader who is aloof, disconnected, isolated... and perhaps the authoritative leader.

The second image if full of connectedness, relationship and in the words of Frances Hesselbein - the power of inclusion, language, shared interests and an emerging coalition. Hesselbein is, by the way, an amazing leader and one of the truly worthy role models for women and men who aspire to be the kind of leader she describes.

Certainly there are situations where both kinds of leadership are necessary. It is my assessment, that more and more, it is the second kind of leadership that is vital for many organizations. The more a leader defaults to the isolated, authoritative style of decree and coercion (my position of power requires you to listen to me and do what I say), those leaders will find it tough going.

The best and brightest people today desire a kind of leader that makes possible the experience of inclusion, collaboration and coalition.

I am curious about two things:
First - what kind of leader do you want to follow?
Second - what kind of leadership is your default style?

Brian K. Rice
Leadership  ConneXtions International
BrianRice@lcileaders.org

LCI - helping you learn the ways of inclusion, coalition, consensus and collaboration