What we can learn from watching dynamic leaders in action

What we can learn from watching dynamic leaders in action

Have you ever worked for a dynamic leader? How did it impact you? James Adonis, in his book ‘How to be Great’, cites Dorothea Dix as an example of a dynamic leader. Dix played a significant role in the transformation of the care of the mentally ill during her lifetime.

After discovering the appalling and inhumane treatment of the mentally ill during one of her teaching rounds at a local asylum, Dix began a program of lobbying state legislation and the US Congress to reform policy.

Prior to the reforms, people with mental illness were held in asylums together with convicted, violent criminals. Sometimes the mentally ill were treated worse than their free-thinking counterparts. They were often whipped, hosed, stripped bare, tortured and unattended.

Despite suffering from an impoverished and difficult childhood where she was eventually removed from her parents and placed to live with her Aunt, Dix was an avid learner and excelled at reading, writing and communication.

According to Adonis, dynamic leaders as ‘those who choose to embrace change rather than remain static’. They are inclined towards action rather than passivity.

Adonis details four different types of dynamic leaders:

  • Transformer
  • Facilitator
  • Driver
  • Implementer

Transformers are often business owners or executives that have the power to influence change and how it is implemented. Transformers can influence individuals due to their status.

Facilitators are often individuals who are in localised leadership roles such as Branch Managers who have less influence over business strategy and the people that implement it.

Drivers have influence over the nature of strategic changes in the business but often may not influence those that interpret and implement change.

Implementers have minimal influence over the direction of change but are instrumental in implementing change. These people are often at the coal-face of the business and might lead a team of ‘do-ers’.

Adonis suggests you consider where you sit under the types of dynamic leadership and then determine which of the facets of dynamic leadership relate to your role.

The seven facets of dynamic leadership, as described by Adonis, are:

  • Creating and articulating a vision that inspires passion and adoption by stakeholders
  • Engaging in kaleidoscope thinking, which means you can view a situation from a range of perspectives, solutions and information sources.
  • Turning a vision into actionable steps by recruiting advocates and building a strong team.
  • Being present, supportive, inclusive and communicative.
  • Modelling conviction, drive and dependability so that others might adopt them.
  • Designing, organising and delegating tasks and responsibilities.
  • Implementing innovative thinking and problem solving.

If your business can benefit from assistance identifying and supporting dynamic leaders, speak to the HR Consulting team at Flexi Personnel.