I am a firm believer that leadership is a choice, not a position. Because of this, I believe anyone can be a leader. Each leader has a choice of how he or she will lead. At the risk of oversimplifying, I have observed that leaders can be categorized into two groups: Status Quo Leaders and Change Agent Leaders.

Status Quo Leaders desire to keep things the same, holding the mentality that if you keep doing what you have always done, you’ll get what you have always gotten. Status Quo Leaders can be overheard saying, “That’s not how we do things around here,” and “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Followers of Status Quo Leaders are taught to fear mistakes and avoid risks.

Change Agent Leaders seek new ways of doing things. They believe that, although something may not be broken, there could still be a way to improve it. The followers of Change Agent Leaders are encouraged to take risks, and they are challenged to find the lessons in mistakes.

Leaders cannot fulfill their vision alone; they need followers. History has repeatedly shown that people hunger for something larger than themselves. Leaders who offer that will have no shortage of followers. Purpose is a vital motivator, and a strong vision compels people to action. As such, Change Agent Leaders command a motivated following where Status Quo Leaders attract those led by inertia. Status Quo Leaders reproduce status quo leaders, which in fact, aren’t really leaders at all.

Change Agent Leaders pick their followers closely. A Change Agent Leader – and subsequently his or her followers – includes, collaborates, gains cooperation and coordinates with others. They know they can’t do it alone, while also understanding that their work is a portrait of themselves.

Change Agent Leaders anticipate obstacles and overcome them. They are not afraid to try something new, even if it means more effort and potential failure. They trust their instincts and pick their followers wisely. Change Agent Leaders reproduce change agent leaders. An environment of such leaders is one poised for greatness.

What kind of leader are you?

Clifford A. Bailey
re-S.H.A.P.E. your leadership.™
(Securing Higher Achievement and Personal Effectiveness)

This entry was posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 8:00 am and is filed under Change Management, Effectiveness, Leadership, S.H.A.P.E.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.