Last week we explored the first 4 Leadership Models presented in the book Models of Leadership in Plato and Beyond written by UVA Darden Professor Ed Freeman and Oxford Professor Dominic Scott.
As a refresher, those 4 models were: The DOCTOR, THE NAVIGATOR, THE ARTIST, AND THE TEACHER. If you missed that Thought Partner or you would like a refresher, click HERE.
One of the things I find most interesting about this model is that Plato didn’t try to create a single definition of leadership, nor did he attempt to create specific leadership qualities that work in all circumstances. Instead, he articulated patterns of leadership and connected metaphors that provide us with easy-to-grasp “models of leadership.” Even though Plato was writing over two thousand years ago, most of these models still resonate today.
WHAT MODEL OF LEADERSHIP SUITS YOU BEST?
The Weaver is skilled at bringing together different types of individuals, encouraging both introverts and extroverts to pursue common goals. Weavers are tolerant of differences and promote shared values among their followers and may remove outliers when necessary. Overall, Weavers promote cooperation and are able to unite various personalities due to their balanced perspectives.
Leader Example: Jim Kutsch, a blind computer scientist and business leader developed communication aids for the blind, promoting cooperation among people with diverse talents and backgrounds.
The Sower is a wise and humble leader who plants great ideas within those that surround them. Sowers allow their words to take root in their followers and create a legacy for future generations. A Sower empowers others to think independently and take up new initiatives, recognizing the importance of stepping back to allow others to adapt their ideas with time.
Leader Example: Marie Curie’s scientific discoveries created a paradigm shift in the scientific community and led to the development of X-rays.
A Shepherd is someone who is dedicated to the “flock’s” well-being and assumes a protective and caring role for followers. However, the nature of Shepherds’ intentions might be ambiguous; they may seek the well-being of their followers as a means of benefiting themselves. This leader is individualistic, practical, and skilled at influencing others.
Leader Example: Uber Co-Founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick asserted that Uber protected and valued drivers — but also expressed a desire to eventually cut drivers and move toward the use of self-driving cars to maximize profit.
SO…..DID YOU FIND A LEADERSHIP MODEL THAT MATCHES YOUR LEADERSHIP APPROACH?
It’s more likely your typical leadership style is a combination of multiple models (e.g., Artist-Shepard). That’s the case with most of us.
Plato understood that there are many features to leadership and that individuals exhibit different leadership styles at different times in their lives and in different situations. Ken Blanchard and Patricia and Drea Zigarmi capitalized on that concept in their own leadership model, Situational Leadership (SLII). Maybe that will be my next “book review….” 😉