The 4 Different Types of Leaders

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The 4 Different Types of Leaders

4 Types Of Leaders

Sean: Hey guys, how’s it going? I hope you’ve been well. Here I am again, Sean Si, your host for the Leadership Stack show. And for this episode, we are going to be talking about the four different types of leader.

Now there are so many variations of this. You may argue that this is not really the original four different types of leader, but hey, to each his own. And for me this is my opinion and my take on the types of leaders out there.

And I do believe there are other types of leaders out there. I don’t claim to have figured it all out, but this is the most evident type of leader in the workplace right now, especially in our team.

Before I move forward, please do hit that subscribe button, that like button and the bell notification icon, because a lot more people might find this helpful. And the only way that they can find this is if you do those things so that the YouTube algorithm can push this video up in their search queries.

The first type of leader, in my opinion, is the executive leader. Someone who likes to execute and someone who likes to get things done. These kinds of leaders are task oriented. The way to make them happy is you keep finishing tasks, you keep hitting goals, you keep hitting milestones, you make sure things get done, check things off of your task lists. That will make this type of leader happy about you, happy about himself and happy about the universe.

The other side of the coin is, if you don’t do these things, if that leader feels like you’re not productive, feels like you’re just wasting time or you’re not doing the right things at work, then that’s the time that you can easily make this leader not happy about you.

So it’s so simple. You make this leader happy by executing. You make this leader sad about you if you don’t execute. And the executive leader usually asks the question when. When will this get done? When is that finished? When can I have this? When can I see that? When can I see your output? When’s the deadline?

I’m that kind of leader. I know a lot of my people in SEO Hacker, maybe they’re watching this. They know I’m that kind of leader. I’m an executive leader. I want to get the ball rolling and moving. I want to feel momentum. I want to feel that we are all moving forward and just hitting those milestones.

One of the downsides for the executive type of leader is, we’re not that great when it comes to building relationships, which is the next type of leader. Building relationships is not a priority for the executive leader because they just want to get things done.

And the executive leader usually feels like building relationships and all of those mundane chit chats just get in the way, which is not really true. I am an executive leader and I would say there are so many benefits if you could just build good relationships with people.

And so I go to the next type of leader, which is the relationship builder. The relationship builder are leaders who just want to get to know you more and better as a person, before they ask things from you, before they tell you what needs to get done, before they give you goals and milestones, before they expect when you can get things finished.

Now, these types of leaders are cherished and adored by a lot of people in the team and hence, their influence grows and they can lead better and manage people better as well.

The downside for relationship builders is usually they don’t get things done and they don’t get things done on time. If they get things done, it’s usually not on time. It’s beyond the deadline. They find it hard to move things, to move people, to have momentum, even with themselves in their own tasks. And that is because they can get carried away by building relationships.

Another downside to the relationship builder type of leader is they find it hard to call people off. They find it hard to tell people what’s wrong with them, what’s wrong with the work they’re doing, what’s wrong with how they treat their job, with how they treat their coworkers, their peers. And that is because they don’t want to damage the relationship. This is something that the executive type does not find too difficult.

Now, the executive type may also find it a bit hard because they don’t want to offend someone. Maybe they’re a bit shy, but a lot of executive types of leaders actually find it quite easy to tell people this is wrong. I needed this on this day. Why wasn’t it done? What happened? It’s not that hard.

With relationship builders, it is pretty hard because they don’t want to break that relationship, because that’s how they influence people. That is how they get things done with other people.

The third type of leader is the strategic leader. These types of leaders think ahead and think about what the best way is to get to a certain goal or to get people moving to that certain direction.

Now why is it different from a relationship builder or an executive? Because these types of leaders are more analytical. They think about the process. They think about the system, how they can improve the system, how the system can work for them, how they can shape things so that they don’t need to grind all the way to where they want to be and where they should get to.

The downside for strategic leaders is they might find it hard to move people because they’re also not relationship builders. They find it hard to build those relationships that they need. And if they do build relationships oftentimes it’s not that deep. So a lot of people do not follow them. How are you going to follow a certain strategy if you don’t have momentum, no one’s going there, you’re not able to lead them well?

Another downside to the strategic leader is they might have what we call analysis paralysis, which is they keep on thinking about: How am I going to get there? What’s the best way? And I only want the best way or it’s no way. And it cannot be like that. Life is not perfect. You can’t always have things fully figured out.

Sometimes, if you just see the next ten meters with your flashlight, then walk the next ten meters and figure out the rest of the way from there. And strategic leaders, they want to figure out the way all the way. Life and work are not like that. You have to keep on going and going and going. And the little momentum you might have initially will snowball into better and bigger momentum, and strategic leaders might find it difficult to lead this way.

The fourth type of leader is the legacy type or the influential type. These are leaders that use their influence to lead others. They are persuasive, charismatic, they have a good track record, they have a legacy that they have been able to build overtime and maybe they’ve executed. Maybe they also have some relationship building there. Maybe they are also very strategic.

Any combination of those things that have built their legacy and built their influence, that is what they leverage on and that is what they use so that they can make sure that people are following them and they’re moving things forward.

Now, the downside to the legacy leader or the influential leader is if people don’t see them in the front-line, if they are too comfortable with their legacy and their influence that they’re just barking orders from behind, that is one of the downsides.

You can’t get too comfortable with your legacy. People need to see you leading from the front, doing the hard things, still investing in yourself, still pushing yourself to grow, being an eternal student and also teaching others what you know, not hoarding it in, but being a reservoir or a river for everyone else to learn from and follow.

Now those are the four different types of leaders. But I want to emphasize that all four types of leaders are called to serve. They are called to serve. We are called to serve. It doesn’t mean that you’re a leader, that you can hold the best positions, that you have the best parking spots, that you got the best food from the cafeteria. It’s actually quite the opposite.

Yes, you might get more pay, you might have a better package when it comes to compensation, but you are also primarily called to serve. Leadership is about serving others. If serving others is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you. You cannot lead if you’re unwilling to serve others.

At SEO Hacker where I’m the CEO and founder, we always say this: If you want to be a leader, that is a worthy and noble ambition and we applaud that and we encourage that. But the first thing that you need to have in yourself is the desire to serve others.

Do not want to be a leader for the position. Do not want to be a leader for fame. Do not want to be a leader for the package, the compensation. Want to be a leader because you want to serve others.

And my execom, my executives, my leaders in the team, we emulate this. We make sure that people see this with all of us, especially with myself. I do hold myself in high accountability with this. Anyone who may need anything in my team, I try my best to serve them.

Now, serving is not the same as being subservient where I’m just saying yes to everything. Serving people might mean that I might need to fire them. I might need to serve them a memo and say what you did was wrong. It’s very similar to raising children. You serve your children by disciplining them, by telling them what’s wrong and right from your moral compass.

In my case, that’s the Bible, that’s God’s word. I serve my kids by disciplining them whenever they are disobedient, whenever they’re rebellious, whenever they do not practice God’s laws. And I teach them God’s ways, so that in the future they will be blessed. That for me, is serving them.

Being subservient to them is saying yes to whatever it is they want. You want more candy here you go. You want to run outside with no one to supervise, you go ahead. That’s being subservient and that’s being foolish, and that will ruin your relationship with them some day. That will make them rebellious children, that will ruin their future, and it’s much the same for leading people.

You would want to serve as a leader, but you are not called to be a subservient leader. Let me just make that clear. The last thing I want to share with you is if you want to take your leadership style to a whole new, different level, you want to level it up, might I suggest that you inject one critical aspect of leadership. And this is often overlooked and this is often not practiced. But I assure you, if you do this, it will level up your leadership style, skill and career to a whole new level. And that is by injecting faith.

Whether you’re the executive type, whether you’re the relationship builder, you’re strategic or whether you are the legacy or influential type, if you inject faith into it, you level yourself up to a level that almost no one has reached.

Let me tell you a story, and this is a true story in the Bible. It’s in the Book of 1 Samuel. It is the story of King David of Israel when he was not yet king. He was living in this Philistine territory of Ziklag. Why was he there?

It’s because the first king of Israel was King Saul, and King Saul was after David. He was going to kill David and his 600 men. So David fled to Saul’s enemy, Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. So he was living in this fortress of Ziklag, and the Philistines were going to war with Israel during that time and Ziklag was part of Gath.

The ruler of Gath asked David to join him in that battle because he trusted David so much. But when the other rulers of the Philistines saw David, they told him to go back home to Ziklag, and that’s a three days march.

When David got home to Ziklag, he found his home burned down, their houses were all burned down. They were raided and pillaged by the Amalekites. Now where would their wives and children be? They were plundered. They were kidnapped by the Amalekite.

So imagine you were King David. You got 600 men with you. Your homes were burned down. Your wives and children and everything you own, your cattle, your sheep, your servants were all kidnapped, were all plundered by the Amalekites. What would you do?

Well, I’ll tell you what David and his men did. They wept like real men. The Bible says they wept until they could weep no more. And it is a horrible site coming home to that.

Now, David’s men were so angry. And it’s a mix of emotions you’d probably feel shocked, you’d probably feel fear, anxious, nervous, hopeless, depressed. It’s a mix of emotions just bursting inside. And David’s men were also angry and they wanted to kill King David. Believe it or not, they wanted to kill him. Three-days march, they were super tired coming home to that scene. What’s the first thing that King David does?

It says in the Bible that the first thing he does is put his strength in the Lord. What does that mean right? What does it mean to put your strength in the Lord? Well, if we study the Bible, what David did was he actually trusted God that God can deliver. So David called Abiathar, the priest, and he asked for the ephod, and he inquired of God: Shall I pursue the Amalekites? Will we overtake them and will I be able to retrieve all the things that we have lost?

And God says yes, pursue. So he did. And take note that they were so exhausted that one third of his men were not able to go with them anymore. There was a certain point where they decided to stay. 200 men decided to stay. So David and 400 men went on and they were going to fight these Amalekites, who were a multitude. There’s a lot of them, so much so that when they finally overtook the Amalekites and fought them, they fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day.

And even then, 400 young Amalekites fled on camels. Meaning they killed so many of the Amalekites that it took them 24 hours almost and maybe even more, to slaughter these Amalekites, and still 400 of those young men were able to flee. And David and his exhausted 400 went to battle against them and won. And they were able to retrieve everything that they owned, their wives and children. Nothing was missing.

And all the plunder that the Amalekites raided from the other cities that they pillaged were also spoils now to King David, and then they went home and God had a big purpose. I’m not going to spoil that for you. You go ahead and read 1 Samuel 30 for yourself.

What’s my point? My point is, whatever type of leader you are, if you inject faith and put your strength in God, it takes you to a whole new level. David trusted God, he inquired of God and he obeyed, tired as he was. That was a desperate, hopeless situation which would leave so many of us leaders desperate, hopeless and angry.

David could have said, “Just stone me! Just kill me! I’m tired of this life. I’m tired of the three-day march. You guys want to kill me. I’ve lost my wife and kids just as much as you have, my life in your hands.” He could have said that.

He could have thrown in the towel and a lot of leaders today, they throw in the towel. But David put his strength in God. You want to level up your leadership skills to another level, do it like King David did. You gotta have faith and you need to strengthen your spirit, and that will make you a way better leader than you are today.

I hope this episode has helped you out and has added value to you. And if it has, please help share this. Hit that subscribe button, the like button, the bell notification icon, so that more people will be able to find this episode and get value from it as well.

I just want to announce to you guys that our t-shirts are available for purchase on our website. The link will be somewhere here and in the description below. And if you want to buy a t-shirt, it would help remind you of the things you might want to be reminded of.

I mean I’m wearing this t-shirt now and it says, “If serving is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.” And this is a good reminder for me, because serving others might not be your mood for the day. But if I’m wearing the shirt, I am reminded that, “Hey, I’m a leader, I’m called to serve.” That is my job. I hope that you at least check the shop out and see if there’s anything that speaks to you and we’ll have the shirt shipped directly to your doorstep.

Again, my name is Sean Si, and I’m the founder and host of the Leadership Stack Podcast. If you haven’t been following us on Spotify, please do so. And I just want to thank you for joining us in this episode and I will see you in the next one.

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