Few things are more energizing than getting to watch a gifted leader at work. And, few things are more irritating than watching an incompetent person pretend to lead! Here at The Center Consulting Group, our team of leadership consultants and coaches regularly have the honor of working with exemplary leaders. These are men and women who have influence – which is the capacity to have a significantly positive effect on people or situations. They have a healthy blend of ability complimented by confidence. Below is a simple matrix to identify four types of leaders. Where are you? And where are members of your team?
Delusional Leader: This leader possesses an unwarranted confidence of his abilities but without any evidence to back it. Action needed: Respectfully and candidly confront his lack of awareness.
Inadequate Leader: This is a sad picture of a leader. Lacking both abilities as well as confidence, she really does not lead at all. Action needed: Invest in her development or reposition her.
Untapped Leader: The untapped leader has abilities far greater than he can see but lacks the confidence needed to influence. Action needed: Affirm his abilities and coach him in building confidence.
Influential Leader: This leader has proven abilities and a humble confidence that has emerged as a result of her impact. Action needed: Maximize her influence to fuel the vision.
For the sake of clarity, I will state the obvious – none of us are influential leaders all of the time. We all lack some self-awareness and have untapped potential. However, when we consistently enhance our abilities and manifest humble confidence, our positive influence on both people and organizations will grow. While we may have some raw, natural talent, we need to work at it and work with it. And false humility seldom produces good outcomes. All of our abilities are directly or indirectly a gift from God, and therefore we can be confident in using those talents for positive purposes.
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center Consulting Group and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of organizational assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Design from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership from The Union Institute.