What Type of Leader Are You?

By understanding this, you can overcome your weaknesses and seek out roles that play to your strengths

Jim Farina


Leadership by Luigi Mengato

When you think leader, what comes to mind? Somebody confident and assertive, or quiet and self-deprecating? Maybe it's a combination of these.

Not all leaders are cut from the same cloth. For instance, somebody who maintains complete control might be perfect for a complex, sprawling organization — but the same person wouldn't necessarily be well suited for a creative organization, where collaboration is vital.

In the book The Nine Types of Leader, James Ashton identifies nine types of effective leadership styles. Do these people have anything in common? Do they share any similar behaviors and philosophies? Their impact is more significant than mere numbers on a balance sheet. Their personalities dramatically set the tone of their organization.

Alpha leaders are charismatic, dedicated monarchs

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe — chairman of the world's largest food company, Nestlé, is an Alpha leader, charming, confident, and striking. His strong personality has played a key role in leading a company worth billions in annual sales.

You'll always know when you're in the presence of alpha leaders. They conduct themselves as if they're the most influential people in the room. They're inspiring, sure, but they're also intimidating. Staff hang on every syllable they utter and worry over pleasing them. These leaders rule with absolute control.

Fixer leaders are the tough superheroes you need in a crisis

Dame Moya Greene, chief executive officer at the UK's Royal Mail, is a Fixer. She was recruited to pull Royal Mail off the brink of collapse, as she'd done with Canada Post and Transport Canada.

Fixers are great in a crisis. They're drawn to situations that look completely hopeless and love nothing more than leaping into the fire and finding ways to put it out. It would be best if you had a fixer when your company faces an existential threat: perhaps its infrastructure has failed, or its customer base has disappeared overnight.