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Leadership: Enforced Versus Legitimate Power

Leadership: Enforced vs Legitimate Power

Three Types of Leaders and Four Types of Environments

There are three types of leaders – and four types of environments they create.

The three leaders are labelled as:

  1. Enforcers
  2. Abdicators
  3. Influencers

Only one type of leader is truly effective.

The four types of environments leaders create are:

  1. Firefighter
  2. No Consequences
  3. No Mistakes
  4. Structured Freedom

Only one type of environment is truly an effective environment in which to operate: Structured Freedom.

The Enforcer

Enforcers are managers who believe that people are basically lazy and need to be pushed to perform.

They believe they must force people to do what needs to be done and that’s what they do. This produces fear and resistance rather than motivation to perform; however, so this type of manager generally gets only about 40% of their employees’ performance capacity.

The environment created by this type of manager is either a No Mistakes or a Firefighter culture.

In a No Mistakes culture people get called out for any mistake they make so they don’t dare innovate or take any risks. Everything is by the book, even if the book is outdated and ineffective.

In a Firefighter culture no one has time to innovate. They are all too busy running around putting out fires.

The Abdicator

Abdicators are weak leaders who generally let their employees decide their own actions but don’t provide them with clear, firm boundaries to work within.

They either believe that people work best when left to their own devices or they lack the courage to make hard decisions and hold people accountable.

The reality is that effective teams need both flexibility and structure. Without clear and consistent application of rewards and consequences, and without solid boundaries to work within, employees feel uncertain and unmotivated to perform.

This produces a No Consequences culture where even slackers have little to no consequences and where high performers soon lose heart. Why make the effort to perform well when slackers get the same benefits as performers?

The Influencer

Influencers get to know their people and tap into their natural skills, strengths, interests and capacity.

Their style is collaborative rather than dictatorial (No Mistakes/Firefighter) or laissez faire (No Consequences). They connect people to one another and to their own best selves, which produces a high degree of enthusiasm, engagement, commitment and performance.

As Generation X and Millennials take over the work force, this is the only style that will work.

Influencers produce a healthy culture where everyone thrives. We call this a VIP culture.

The leader of a VIP culture is a Visionary, who is Influential and Progressive (hence the VIP acronym).

The VIP Environment: Structured Freedom with Influencer Leadership Style

This VIP Environment is one of Structured Freedom. Boundaries are clear and rewards and consequences are plainly spelled out and consistently adhered to so everyone knows exactly what to expect.

Yet within these clear boundaries, there is a lot freedom and flexibility in the way one gets his or her job done. Employees operating in a Structured Freedom Environment are fiercely loyal to their leader and to the company they call home, and they are committed to ensuring that both succeed.

The graph below provides a more in-depth view of each style. Overall the Enforcer uses a negative approach, the Abdicator takes a neutral approach and the influencer takes a positive approach.

leadership styles determine corporate environment

Remember that each style of leadership produces an environment that can be either negative and detrimental to consistent outcomes – or positive and supporting to those same outcomes.

Influencer Leadership Style

The goal, of course, is to move toward the Influencer Leadership Style, thus creating a healthy Structured Freedom environment where everyone, including the customer, is winning.

Learn the characteristics of the Influencer Leader and commit to developing yourself up the J-Curve toward Leadership Mastery. You will be absolutely amazed at the outcomes created by the Influencer’s Leadership Style.


Questions? Marc Schwartz Has Answers!

To learn more about how you can create a Structured Freedom environment in your workplace, contact Marc.