The column "Leadership Whiteboard" provides a short visual leadership coaching moment. It introduces and explains a new sketch in each issue, provides leadership coaching for further development, and shares a leadership quote and recommended book.
Spectrum of Leadership Styles
President Abraham Lincoln adjusted his style over his presidency, as most leaders do. He recruited a cabinet of men who were his opponents, even enemies. He consulted their wisdom without fear of them having a better idea or suggestion. However, Lincoln, when seeing the country on a precipice of disintegration, did not take time to consult others but issued an executive order—The Emancipation Proclamation. His style crosses the spectrum of leadership from extreme autocratic to very collaborative. He embraced multiple leadership styles.
Below are a number of recognizable leaders. The far left of the spectrum shows a more autocratic (often self-centric) style, while the far right reflects a follower-centric, collaborative style.
Knowing when to direct and when to allow people to weigh in takes a leader comfortable in his or her own skin. But people's loyalty will only go so far. Find the balance and see what long-term results can be produced from a leader who, like Lincoln, may be autocratic in a crisis but otherwise inspirationally collaborative, the way servant leaders typically act.
by James McGregor Burns
"Blessed are the people whose leaders can look destiny in the eye without flinching but also without attempting to play God."
About the Columnist: Ron Hunter Jr. has served as the director of Randall House Publications for 14 years, and has led the organization into family ministry initiatives for the past 12 years.