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Different types of leader

During the second world war, Professor Tom Paterson developed a leadership model based on RAF fighter squadrons, the morale of which was dropping rapidly. He identified five different leader roles, which an effective leader would play simultaneously but which, more often than not, varies based on the leader’s personality:

  • The inward leader. This leader concentrates on the ‘internal’ life of the team, looking at how well it performs its tasks, its cohesiveness, its morale, its intra-personal relationships and its continual learning and development. The inward leader maintains a close dialogue with individuals within the team.

  • The outward leader. This leader focuses more on making and maintaining a close contact with ‘external’ team factors, including suppliers, clients, superiors, and other external stakeholders. The outward leader represents the team’s best interests in various arenas within the rest of the organisation, as well as the world at large.

  • The exemplar leader. The exemplar leader takes a logical, rational approach to leadership, injecting clarity into the team and ensuring they stay focused on their goals. The exemplar leader will make sure thinking processes are clear, simple, and analytical.

  • The eccentric leader. This role is the more creative, lateral role, typified by a more deviant approach to leadership. The eccentric leader encourages their team to break boundaries, challenging them with new strategies and thought processes.

  • The facilitator. This leader’s policy is ‘leadership from behind’, reinforcing team member’s contributions, and allowing them to make decisions on their own. This leader will encourage team members to flourish without being pushy or overbearing.

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