What sort of executive are you?
The Tribal Chief. The tribal chief is not just a political or military leader as the general is, but is also a leader in culture, lifestyle and belief systems. A tribe does not just have to be an extended family group, but it often feels like one. A tribal leader usually is intertwined with legend. There are some great examples in American history of how impactful tribal leaders can be. Think of Tecumseh of the Shawnee. He quickly inspired a large number of people to move with great intensity towards a common goal. Look at some of the modern tribes in present-day American popular culture: Jerry Garcia and his friends in the Grateful Dead created a tribe that followed them around the world supporting their jam philosophy. George Clinton of the Funkadelics still leads a tribe of funk fans who support his idea of outrageous enjoyments. Steve Jobs became a tribal leader of Apple product devotees. Wouldn’t every business executive want to lead a company with a following like Apple’s? The difficulty with being a tribal chief is that chiefs fall out of fashion and tribal members often leave to follow other interests. Tribes break up as easily as they form sometimes.
The Sports Coach. Whether you are a sports’ fan or not, you have seen one coach or another become the figurehead and leader of a school or a city. The idea of gathering your team for a quick tactical review huddle before putting them back out on the field where they make the big play in the last seconds of the game to win the big trophy is very appealing. The hard fact about coaching is that for every second of point-scoring exhilaration, there are hours and hours of recruiting, training, practice, study, research, discussion, preparation and anxiety. Sports and business do share some commonalities. Recruiting, training, research, preparation and anxiety are some of them. Sport coaches know their business is all about the fun and the thrill of victory, but they also understand clearly how that all relates to cash flow and asset appreciation. A sports coach can fall short when people in the organization do not relate to sports analogies or are not driven by team competition.
The Spoiled Brat. Sometimes a boss always wants to get his or her own way. There are some executives who not are interested in the talent their people bring, but only in production. These types of executives usually like to bark orders and berate people who don’t complete tasks exactly the way the executive wanted them done. There are times the Spoiled Brat will have a temper tantrum or suddenly change his or her mind about a task just to throw people off balance. There are times the Spoiled Brat will confuse himself or herself with the General. But, the General will hold composure and keep the battle plan in mind even under pressure. When under pressure, the Spoiled Brat overreacts and lashes out until someone offers a pacifier. The advantage the Spoiled Brat has is that people do react quickly and try to make this type of executive happy in order to avoid those tantrums. The downside of the Spoiled Brat is just that: a spoiled brat!
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