When people see or hear “leader”, they generally think of interpersonal leaders inspiring and enabling teams. While those interpersonal leaders are of critical import, the world needs artistic leaders and scientific leaders just as much. And you need to play your part.
Webster defines leader as “a person who rules, guides, or inspires others”.
Artistic leaders inspire by influencing feelings. They help us take new approaches to how we see, hear, taste, smell and touch things. You can find these leaders creating new designs, new art, and the like. These people generally have no interest in ruling or guiding. They are all about changing perceptions.
Scientific leaders guide and inspire by influencing knowledge with their thinking and ideas. You can find them creating new technologies, doing research and writing, teaching and the like. Their ideas tend to be well thought-through, supported by data and analysis, and logical. These people develop structure and frameworks that help others solve problems.
Interpersonal leaders can be found ruling, guiding and inspiring at the head of their interpersonal cohort whether it’s a team, organization, or political entity. They come in all shapes and sizes, and influence actions in different ways. The common dimension across interpersonal leaders is that they are leading other people.
Net, Artistic leaders inspire by influencing feelings. Scientific leaders guide and inspire by influencing knowledge. Interpersonal leaders rule, guide and inspire to influence actions. And, oh by the way, these are not mutual exclusive. Leaders can lead in more than one way.
A More Sophisticated Approach to People and Personalities
Don Fornes, CEO of Software Advice has taken this to heart. He realizes it is “worthwhile to think in a sophisticated way about people and personalities.” So he commissioned a business psychologist, Dr. James Maynard, to analyze the highest-performers at his company to see what makes them so unique. The goal was to better understand his team, learn what makes his people tick, how to better (and more effectively) manage them, and how to identify and hire more people like them.
While there are all sorts of different profiles, Fornes took me through four in particular, Savant, Champ, Matrix Thinker, and Giver. In brief, and hugely oversimplified
Savants are “really good at what they do”. But are usually really good at just one thing, like writing, researching, engineering, creating. At their core, they love to learn. Savants may be scientific or artistic leaders but are often introverted.
Champs strive to be the best and to overcome the chips on their shoulders. Look for these outspoken, assertive people to be leading the charge in sales or political campaigns.
Matrix Thinkers are trailblazers and problems solvers. These people can be creative, project-oriented and strong interpersonal leaders.
Givers make great team players. They are loyal and give it their all. These people do particularly well in producer roles, central HQ roles, and customer service roles.
Fornes and his leadership team made this information practical by using it as a guide to inspiring and enabling these people. His managers now work hard not to over-manage Savants, not to overload Matrix Thinkers, to keep up with Champs, and to take care of Givers.
The BRAVE Leadership framework applies to all leaders. Artistic, scientific and interpersonal leaders should ask the same five BRAVE questions around behaviors, relationships, attitudes, values and the environment. Since they are asking them through different lenses they may ask them differently and get different answers.
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Implications For You
Broaden your horizons. Cherish your artistic, scientific and interpersonal leaders. Lead in the way that works best for you whether you are a Giver, Matrix Thinker, Savant, or Champ with a chip on your shoulder. Either way, pay attention to the art and science of team optimization as leading is too important to be left just to the rulers.