There are many types of leaders and, yet, very few of the leaders I meet have consciously chosen the type of leader they want to become.

I believe there are 3 dimensions of leadership:

  • Functional – an expert in a particular field, a neurosurgeon, for example
  • Professional – a leader that manages a group of functional experts, the head of neurosurgery at a hospital would be a good example
  • Transcendental – a leader that is known for their ability to influence large groups of people towards a common goal.  A CEO of a hospital, for example

A functional expert loves delivering the work and prides himself on his technical ability. 

A professional leader manages people, processes and systems.  She’s excellent at delivering business outcomes through a small team.

A transcendental leader influences her people, customers and the industry.  She is known for her leadership of innovation and transformation.

If you don’t consciously choose the type of leader you wish to be, you may find yourself unintentionally stuck with a reputation for functional expertise when your aspirations are for transcendental leadership.

There are no judgements in which type of leader you aspire to be – there’s no right or wrong choice. There is only a conscious choice made grounded in the knowledge of who you truly are, how your strengths support your work , and what innately drives you.

So, what type of leader are you, and what type of leader would you like to be?

The Three Dimensions of Leadership