As we dig deeper into the five roles of a master herder as laid out in the teachings of Linda Kohanov, we can identify with most of the roles. Dominants tend to be more demanding, and set in their ways. The nurturer-companion can be looked at as a people pleaser in most situations. The sentinel is always on the lookout for dangers and pitfalls. The predator comes out when tougher choices need to be made. Of all these one leadership role tends to stand out above all else, in her teachings Linda refers to this role as the leader. In the corporate world we see this type of leadership as more of a visionary. This leader tends to motivate through inspiration, rather than fear. They calm others or reset the focus in tense situations. A leader will exhibit visionary qualities.
While these characteristics are inspiring, and something to strive for, they can create challenges for themselves. Quite often a visionary is looking so far into their future and long terms goals they can leave others behind in a state of confusion. Making it difficult for others to follow. A visionary in the corporate world can sometimes lose touch with others and come across as aloof or self-absorbed. The greatest challenge of a visionary leader is the ability to delegate responsibility to others, and allow others to help them. Leaders often take on too much responsibility which only contributes to the alienation and distance between them and others.
When Linda speaks about leaders in the master herder sense, she will categorize them into two distinct groups. Young leaders and mature leaders. A young leader can be identified as someone attracted to novel situations, exhibits curiosity, and has a contagious confidence. Young leaders are risk takers and can assess the possible benefits more cautious people may not see at first. Steve jobs in his early days of Apple was a great example of a young leader with a vision so far into the future that it left many of his boardroom counterparts in the dust, causing conflict and eventually costing Jobs his position with the company.
In Jobs resurrection with Apple in 1997, he demonstrated the qualities often associated with a mature leader. Possessing a greater knowledge of the business, competition, threats and opportunities. He was focussed on what needed to be accomplished, and able to channel that focus into a calm delegation of tasks. It wasn't a great product that saved apple computers it was the benefit of having a mature leader rather than a young one. Young leaders are important in the process of innovation, as they mature, innovation becomes the everyday norm for you and I.
At Lodestone Leadership you will understand how to become a leader that can use all five roles of leadership each day. Learn more about what kind of leader you are Be at one of our upcoming workshops.