Many articles talk generically about leadership traits, but what they don’t tend to address are the five types of leadership, each requiring its own set of unique competencies.
When you approach leadership from this perspective, it can help you better identify people in your organization best suited for each. Alternatively, it can help you identify areas that you (as the CEO/business owner) need to improve upon in order to maximize your effectiveness in each type of leadership role.
Each of the leadership roles that we identify below are dependent on the self-leadership foundation for success. In other words, all leaders in your organization must have strong self-leadership before they can assume any of the other leadership roles.
Self-leadership must be mastered first. It’s the ability to manage yourself, take personal accountability, hold yourself to the highest standard, and work effectively with others. It requires the following traits (among others):
- Emotional Intelligence
- Customer Focus
- Disciplined Thought
- Agile Action
- Individual Plan Building
- Self-Development (ongoing)
2. FUNCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
Functional leadership is the ability to lead and manage a team of people responsible for a similar function. In a small business, it could be the entire team. In a large business, it could be a department or division. Functional leadership requires the ability to:
- Build an operating plan
- Manage the plan execution
- Build teamwork
- Develop the organization (or team)
3. CROSS-FUNCTIONAL LEADERSHIP
A step above functional leadership, cross-functional leadership requires the ability to lead a process management team that has an ongoing mission (in contrast to leading a project team). The skills required are a bit more advanced than those of a functional leader. They include, but are not limited to:
- Building cross-functional teamwork
- Building a cross-functional operating plan
- Managing the plan execution
- Defining processes
- Evaluating processes
- Improving processes
4. CHANGE LEADERSHIP
Change leadership requires the ability to a lead cross-functional teams through the successful completion of a variety of projects. It’s a more challenging leadership role than functional or cross-functional, and is only superseded by strategy leadership. The change leadership role is about implementation and execution, requiring the following skills:
- Project setup
- Project risk assessment
- Project planning
- Project execution management
- Organizational change management
- Communicating lessons learned
5. STRATEGY LEADERSHIP
The fifth type of leadership is the most advanced and requires the most skill. It’s Strategy Leadership. This is the ability to set long-term vision and change priorities for the organization, as a whole. From the enterprise standpoint, you can see where strategy leadership is highly dependent on change leadership for the effective execution of the vision. The skills required in this role include:
- Building a strategic agenda
- Defining and exemplifying corporate missing and values
- Clearly defining the target market
- Defining corporate vision
- Defining broad change strategy
- Engaging teams, especially leadership teams
As mentioned at the onset, self-leadership serves as the foundation in all roles. If that is absent, none of the others are possible. As a small business owner, you may be forced into serving all leadership roles on your own. As a CEO of a larger enterprise, the identified skills can help you single out the best people to serve in certain leadership capacities. The advantage to understanding the 5 leadership roles is that you can clearly see where and what type of development or training is required to effectively execute each, whether you are a small business or a larger enterprise.
At LXCouncil peer group meetings, we discuss topics like this and hone in on practical application and implementation for member businesses.
If you are ready to kick start the growth of your business in a strategic way, LXCouncil is great place to start. Let’s start a conversation and unchain your infinite entrepreneurial potential.
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