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The 5 Faces of Leadership, and What They Mean For You

Business owners have many styles that help them lead an organization effectively. Here's how to use that knowledge to your advantage.

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Team members who wish to become valuable to their organization will need to understand how its leader thinks. Business owners can be complicated to understand because they often look at decisions and choices through multiple lenses. It is essential to understand the following five faces of leadership to understand better which face an employee may need to speak to when addressing an issue or discussing an idea.

1. The seer 

A leader who knows where they are going and why they want to get there.

Good leaders know where they want to go, but they never want to go alone. Team members who can understand where a leader is working to take the organization can often influence the leader when they can speak about the ultimate vision. Many leaders reject good ideas because they don't know how to align that decision with where they are leading the organization.

Related: 20 Signs of Leadership Excellence

2. The steward 

A leader who knows where they are going and what they need to get there.  

The best leaders see themselves as stewards of the organization. When a leader has this face, they realize that they have resources under their care, and they must utilize those resources to help the company grow. A team member who seeks to influence their leader will understand how decisions will impact the overall resources of a company and think thoroughly about how to maximize those resources for their best potential. 

3. The strategist 

A leader who knows where they are going and who they want to go with them.  

Good leadership is always about people. This face of the leader thinks deeply about how to put people in the organization in the right seat in order to bring about the best results for the team member and the organization. When team members address the leader about a decision, it is always wise to consider who is involved and impacted by the decision. Most leaders have a vision for next-level leaders in the organization and know what they desire to help the next-level leader take the next step in their personal or professional development.

4. The sage 

A leader who knows where they are going and knows what to do to get there.  

The sage leader understands the processes and systems that will help the team member and organization to function at the highest level. Good leaders build good strategies and know-how to get better results. Team members who wish to help the leader should seek to help them develop better processes. The best next-level leaders in an organization work to make better decisions and work to create better processes and systems to ensure that everyone in the organization performs better.  

5. The scientist 

A leader who knows where they are going and is willing to find new ways to get there.  

The scientist leader is curious to find new and better ways to do old things. This face of a leader leads to innovation and change. Many leaders seem like they are not willing to change, but leaders are always willing to change if they can see and understand a better way to do things. Team members can become very valuable to leaders when they know where and why they're trying something new.  

Related: Power With Purpose: The Four Pillars of Leadership

Leaders are often like diamonds — they have many sides that help them to take charge of an organization effectively. Next-level leaders who wish to help their leadership succeed will understand different sides or faces that they have and will work to engage through that lens.  

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