In June issue of Harvard Business Review I have found an article by Mr. M. Buckingham called “Leadership Development In the Age of The Algorithm” (link to it here). It is an article I was waiting for – I knew it must be out there somewhere, and sha-bum, here it is!
All the schools and scholars all over the world are trying to drop every conceivable leadership quality into one pot, stir it and cook a cake which is then fed to every business (or other) school student. We all knew that this approach did not (as it could really not) work – because people are different. We all like (or prefer) different things, in turn feeling better – or feeling ourselves – when doing those things. Author of mentioned article correctly noticed that and asked himself a question: if we are different, why not tailor leadership training to a particular leadership type? He and his company did some tests and came up with 9 different leadership categories, called “strength roles” (some of them are Adviser, Connector, Creator or Provider) with distinctive differences as per leadership concepts used. Those concepts (not techniques, as the article correctly pointed out) can be shared and used by leaders of the same category. So if we know a good leader from Adviser category, his concepts can be useful (and feel naturally when used) by all other Advisers. If though Adviser will be taught to use concepts of Creator, this may feel unnaturally and so come across to led people. And they will notice.
I like that concept of custom, tailor made leadership program. We should introduce it at schools and workplaces. All of us have some strengths and weaknesses, we should build and reinforce those strengths, not force people to act unnaturally. New leaders would be all that much credible to all of us.