Leadership: Politics or Performance?

This Tuesday we began a study that will likely last for several weeks. We're discussing a unique branch of psychology called Family Systems Theory - especially as it relates to the mindsets and disciplines of leadership.

So I'll be posting now and again on various aspects of FST. But first, let's introduce the topic of leadership mindset by talking about Politics versus Performance.

So think of a "leader" that you've known well or followed for some time. Or, if you can be at least somewhat objective - think about yourself. Where is that leader (or where are you?) on the following continuum?

Politically-Oriented <--------------------------+--------------------------> Performance Oriented

This isn't a "good or evil" thing - each of us has elements of both extremes, and we all fall somewhere along this line. The question is, "Are you more politically oriented, or performance oriented?".

At the leftmost extreme, a highly politically-oriented leader cares about appearance, who he knows, how to hide weakness and how to minimize loss. These leaders have a herd mentality.

At the rightmost extreme, a highly performance-oriented leader cares about what she can do, how she can outperform others, how to expose and eradicate weakness and how to maximize gain. These leaders have a warrior mentality.

Again, bias towards either end of the spectrum isn't necessarily evil. But it is really important to evaluate yourself, and see what your strengths and weaknesses are.

So where are you on that line - hard over on one side or the other? Or are you that rare perfect individual that falls right in the middle? :)


Anonymous said...

I am the perfect one. :o) I am right on the middle. Just kidding! I am probably closer to the performance side. Just not to the extreme.

Dustin said...

In looking at myself; I tend to be more political, but I am trying to learn to be more performance based. I think it is much more effective to be a performer then a politician (not that I cant find uses for being more politically motivated).

I work in sales right now, so I am probably working in the extreme political side of things. I find it much easier to sell things when I am aware and gauging others instead of trying to lead them somewhere. I know that sales are not necessarily political; but my job kind of forces me in that direction.

Jon Gibson said...

Now that i've had some time to think abou this, I really think I fall more on the performance side of this spectrum. However I do see the faults of both sides, so I continue to work on my political side so I dont seem arogant to people that don't know me.

Because I know that sometimes I can come across as abrassive. (ok so maybe all the time)Because in all reality I have a passion to connect with people. So maybe i'm political with non-christians with a side of performance. And completly performance oriented with Christians.