Leadership Agility and the Presidential Candidates

This month I attended a presentation conducted by Bill Joiner, co-author of Leadership Agility. Joiner conducted a five-year research project in which he interviewed over 500 leaders about leadership.

According to Joiner, leaders define agile leadership as “flexibility with purpose” and report what agile leaders do differently when confronted with a challenge – they focus, step back, gain a deeper, broader view, reengage and take action.

Using data from his study, Joiner broke leadership agility into several categories including;

  • Expert – at which 45% of leaders operate
  • Achiever –  at which 35% of leaders operate
  • Catalyst – at which just 5 –10% of leaders operate

Experts are respected because of their authority, take a tactical focus, micro manage and have a low tolerance for conflict.  Achievers motivate others by making work challenging and satisfying, have an outcome-based focus, seek stakeholder buy-in, and have a moderate tolerance for conflict. Catalysts articulate an inspiring vision and empower others to make it a re

ality, develop organizational capacity to meet strategic challenges, create highly participative, empowered teams that lead change together, and have a greater tolerance for conflict.

As I listened to the presentation, I kept thinking about the current presidential candidates and how I would characterize their leadership styles according to this model. I went up to Joiner after the presentation and asked him my question. His analysis was what I had come up with.

What about you? How would you characterize the current presidential candidates based on this leadership model? Is one or the other an Expert? What about Achiever? Does either presidential candidate operate as a Catalyst? And how does understanding their leadership style affect your vote?

Photo credit: iStockphoto

About the author: Judy Lindenberger is the President of The Lindenberger Group, an award-winning human resources consulting firm, located near Princeton, NJ. They are experts in career coaching, customized training workshops, online training programs, mentoring, 360-degree assessment and feedback, HR audits, employee handbooks, and more. Learn more about them at www.lindenbergergroup.com.


About the Author

Judith Lindenberger

Judith Lindenberger is President of The Lindenberger Group, an award-winning HR consulting agency. She has over 30 years of experience helping clients create effective human resource management strategies to drive success for their organization and their employees. Lindenberger Group’s seasoned team of consultants offer expert guidance on all aspects of HR from recruitment and staffing to training and development to payroll and compliance. For more information, email info@lindenbergergroup.com