There are many variations when it comes to leadership styles. Yet at the core, it may be possible to boil down a person’s central or “core” leadership style as the product of one or the other of two issues: Concentration or Distribution.
To focus the point even further, I am submitting for consideration that leadership styles flow out of the leader’s core motivation, the two extremes of which are either control or empowerment. Like the visible leaves that appear on the tree based on the nature of its subterranean (hidden) root-structure, discernable leadership styles may well materialize as the consequence of the leader’s underlying motivation.
I have pondered this topic previously in this Blog (click here to read). Even so, as I continue to travel and meet with leaders in multiple settings and cultures, I repeatedly observe that a leader’s internal motivation is central to everything else that is observable in the characteristics that make the leader “who they are.”
I don’t believe that core motivation is all that hard to discern: whereas a control-oriented leader will seek to consolidate power and authority in their own hands, an empowerment-oriented leader will strive to build up the capabilities and strength(s) of those they lead. While the controller will limit the power of others, the empowerment leader will seek to give power away to those who demonstrate the responsible character and skills to handle it.
Concentration or distribution… at the root level, it seems to be one or the other.
What are your thoughts regarding the “core” motivation of those who lead? Which do you prefer, concentration of power or the distribution of power? What are your reasons?