All leadership behaviors can be grouped into five major roles.
Technician: a doer, grounded in the present, who works on one technical project at
a time; is controlling, dislikes abstraction and believes the adage, “If you want it
done right, do it yourself.”
Manager: pragmatic and directly controls the flow of work; managers prefer order,
planning and the status quo.
Architect: a systems thinker and creator of social and technical systems; envisions
the relationship between parts, and has a long-term plan and perspective.
Trailblazer: a visionary and innovative catalyst for change; imagines the future
and asks, “What if?”
Coach: develops, motivates and inspires people; provides resources and training
through excellent and impartial communication skills.
Expert leaders should be able to perform all five roles.
In traditional organizations, leaders often emphasize the manager and technician roles. However, in High Performance organizations, leaders emphasize the architect, trailblazer and coach
roles. The key to leadership is finding the right balance between these roles. If
there is not a good balance, the organization will be lopsided.
Exerpts from: Burns, James MacGregor. Leadership. New York: Harper & Row, 1978. Print.