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ISAE Blog

Strategic Planning with Different Types of Leaders

Posted by Kayla Jenkins on May 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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Working with various leadership styles in general is challenging but especially so during the strategic planning process. When building a solid strategic plan, it’s imperative that everyone is on the same page and all voices are heard. When you factor in these differences in leading and communication styles, this can sometimes (further) complicate the strategic planning process. Understanding the different types of leadership styles can combat the typical strategic planning woes and help you get the most out of your strategic planning sessions. Here are the three most common leadership types you’ll encounter during the strategic planning process and how to work with them.

The Transformational Leader
This leader loves change. They’re creative thinkers who want to take their association to new heights. This leader is highly motivated and is great at engaging others—qualities that are quintessential to the strategic planning process. You’ll work best with a transformational leader when you’re actively involved and giving your best. Conversely, these leaders are passionate, and that can sometimes work against them. Transformational leaders can unknowingly veer off topic during your strategic planning sessions. You can offset this by ensuring their suggestions are realistic and relevant to your association.

The Pacesetting Leader
The pacesetter does just that—set the pace, so good luck keeping up with this leader. They model excellence and expect nothing less in return from the rest of the team. This can be a good thing for strategic planning because the pacesetter’s tunnel vision can help keep your team focused and efficient. However, the rest of the team may struggle to keep up with the demanding pace. At the beginning of your strategic planning session, make sure the pacesetter knows the process is a marathon, not a sprint. Incorporate short breaks throughout the day to prevent burnouts from the rest of the team.

The Servant Leader
The servant leader is probably the most common leadership style in the association industry. This leader puts the needs of the organization before their own. They’re inclusive self-starters who shy away from the limelight and lead from behind. This leader is great at boosting morale and getting everyone involved. A downside to this leadership style is the inability to meet tight deadlines or make quick decisions. Combat this by encouraging team work in your planning sessions. By breaking off into groups with other leadership styles, the servant leader can rely on others to do all the quick thinking.

While each style has its own pros and cons, it’s important to note that none of the leadership styles are bad news for your organization. In fact, working with leaders who possess several leadership styles will bring a unique mix of perspectives and ideas to your next strategic planning session.

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Topics: Strategic Planning

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