“If we were good at everything, we would have no need for each other.”

-Simon Sinek

Great organizations understand the importance of having blended leadership.  A business needs intelligent people to solve difficult problems.  It needs compassionate people to mentor teams through change.  And it needs people that are fearless enough to take the first step.

Finding all these qualities in one person is rare. Leadership takes a village.

In Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results, Robert Anderson and William Adams provide a framework for 3 types of leadership:  Heart, Head and Will. 

They believe the way you lead holds great value and power.

Understanding which type describes your leadership style will allow you to build amazing teams.

Let’s take a quick look at each type.

Heart Leaders care about people first.  They are great at mentoring and training.  They can facilitate conversations and help in collaborative efforts.  They value everyone being included and hearing all the voices.  They make people feel like they belong.

Head Leaders solve difficult and complex problems.  The answers seem to materialize out of thin air for them.  They can sort through several inputs, keeping those that are meaningful, and discarding the rest.  They come up with innovative solutions.

Will Leaders get things done.  They are fearless and motivated by achieving.  They are ready to jump in with both feet on a new project and see what happens.  They see opportunities and create visions of what could be.

There are benefits to each type of leadership but every strength is also a double-edged sword.

It’s easy to be attracted to like-minded people, those people who think and prioritize things as you do.  But this type of team can lack perspective.  Different viewpoints are what balance your team and allow your business to thrive.  That’s why a balanced team can be your strongest asset.

It helps to be aware of the pros and cons when building your leadership team.

Because Heart Leaders care so much about making sure everyone is included and on board with an idea, they can be slow to move things forward.  They want consensus before deciding to take the next step.  They do not fear failure as much as they fear their assertiveness will be offensive to others.

Because Head Leaders are good at problem-solving, they fear being wrong.  They can trip themselves up by waiting to have a high degree of confidence in their ideas before presenting them to others.  They procrastinate as they gather evidence supporting their theories.  Because the answers come to them so quickly, they can have a hard time explaining their novel solutions in ways that others understand.

Because Will Leaders see the value of getting things done, they can become very impatient with others.  They do not like moving slow.  They do not want to explain their ideas.  Because they enjoy achieving, they can easily start chasing an idea without really thinking through all options or details.

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The key is knowing your type of leadership style and seeking people who lead from the other styles to help balance your strengths.  Here are some questions to ask yourself about who can help you:

If you are a Heart Leader . . .

  • How can Will Leaders give you courage?
  • How can Head Leaders help you come up with a logical plan?


If you are a Head Leader . . .

  • How can Heart Leaders help you include others in conversations and problem-solving?
  • How can Will Leaders help me put my ideas out there?


If you are a Will Leader . . .

  • How can Heart Leaders help me find a way to connect to others so people will understand my vision?
  • How can Head Leaders help me flush out the details and look for pitfalls in my ideas?


Give yourself the gift of uncovering what type of leader you are.  Be willing to be honest about the double-edged sword of your strengths.  Know the area you excel at and where you can use a more balanced perspective.  And consider how varying views might help give your business an edge.

If you want to explore the core of your leadership, read Mastering Leadership.

How might your business benefit from a more balanced team?