Saturday, October 31, 2009

Barbarians to Bureaucrats - WHAT TYPE OF LEADER ARE YOU?

"The history of civilizations and corporations reveals a common pattern." - Lawrence M. Miller, author of Barbarians to Bureaucrats.

I read this book over the summer and it is an interesting look at how to categorize different types of leadership styles. Miller uses historical figures/events to illustrate that the life cycle of the leader changes with each new stage of development or decline in a corporation or a civilization.

The Prophet, Barbarian, Builder/Explorer, Administrator, Bureaucrat, Aristocrat, and the Synergist are 7 types of leaders that appear in different stages of a company/civilization's life cycle. I find these categories not unlike the ones used by Basadur. For example, Miller describes the Prophet as the innovator and the leader that inspires, bringing to mind the role of Basadur's Conceptualizer. Miller's Administrator (systems, structure and security) can be likened to Basadur's Optimizer.

I think Miller makes an interesting case for his view on the life cycle of leadership roles within a given organization. Citing historical figures/events/civilizations as examples to prove his point makes for an interesting read and is a fun and engaging way to illustrate how leadership styles must be able to change and adapt if an organization/group/society is to prevail.

Moreover, identifying what types of leaders you may be working alongside within a group setting is very useful, and understanding the characteristics/traits of different leader types is invaluable in creating an efficient and coherent team.

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