Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to meet some amazing operational leaders … and equally some who were not so amazing. I have come across a range of leadership styles and traits and, in some cases, traits so dominant they caricature the leader’s overall style. I have outlined a few of the more common ones below:

The point of this is:

  1. It is easy to focus on the negative, when in most cases there is a positive aspect to each trait. As long as the individual concerned is self-aware or has had the right coaching conversation, it can be used to their adavantage.
  2. As with most things, diversity is a good thing. A team comprising individuals from across the range described above, in my opinion, has the potential to be a champion team.
  3. Many of us are both part of a team and lead a team at the same time. We need to recognise the traits of our peers and direct reports and how we can help them accentuate the positive and also recognise our own traits and the impact we have on others.
  4. So, when building your champion team, be clear about the task at hand and the behavioural traits required to execute. Use this as a screen to find the gaps and then determine whether the gaps will have a material impact on achieving your goal. If so, factor this in to your recruitment process.


I’m sure there are many other defining traits and I’d love to hear from you about those and how they work with the rest of your team.

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