The 2 types of leaders & how to determine which one you are

High-performing leaders generally succeed because they view their position as a privilege to serve others in the pursuit of achieving results. These leaders attack and confront problems head on, rather than avoiding challenging situations or difficult tasks.

Low-performing leaders typically see their position as a right earned as a reward for the position they have reached. And as a result, they aren’t fully committed to doing what is required to succeed. They go through the motions of leadership and management. Low-performing leaders constantly complain. And they only reluctantly get involved when big issues or situations arise.

Which Type of Leader Are You?

Are you energized by working hard to achieve results, improve your company, watch your people grow and improve, and take on more responsibility? Do you think it’s an honor to serve your customers? Are you grateful to have the responsibility to lead and mentor your employees? Do you enjoy being the leader of a successful construction business? Are you a high-performing, effective leader?

Or do you continuously complain about the economy, your competition, people, customers, cash flow, and other small things that continue to happen daily? Do you feel you shouldn’t have to do the little things you consider to be beneath your position and pay grade? Do you often wonder why your people aren’t as accountable or responsible as you? Do you avoid conflicts? Do you dislike attending regular meetings?

Do you have trouble holding people accountable? Do you wish your people wouldn’t ask for so much assistance making decisions? Do you withhold financial results from your people? Do you often avoid making tough decisions you don’t really want to deal with in a timely manner? Effective leadership is often determined by a manager’s responsive and decisive attitude.

2 Types of Leaders

Responsible-for-Results Leaders

These effective leaders believe it is their responsibility to achieve results. They are responsible, accountable and focused on doing whatever is required to achieve the company or project goals. They feel their leadership is a privilege by serving others in the pursuit of achieving results. They are responsible to help their company and people grow, exceed expectations, achieve the best results possible, and move their people and company to a higher level of success.

These leaders enjoy improving their strategy, workplace, systems, processes, capacity, communication, teamwork, profits, customers, sales, profits and results. In other words, high-performing leaders serve others in the pursuit of achieving results.

Self-Rewards-Focused Leaders

These ineffective leaders believe their position or role is a reward or entitlement for having reached their position. This type of leader acts entitled and thinks they should be allowed to work on whatever they want to versus what is necessary since they are the boss. They also think their role should almost always be pleasant, convenient and enjoyable. They won’t do tasks they don’t want or like to do or that they feel are beneath their position.

These leaders avoid hard work or difficult activities, uncomfortable conversations, tough decisions, or confronting managers, employees, customers and subcontractors. They often don’t to trust people to make decisions, and therefore complain about almost everything. They don’t have a strong management team to protect their power and kingdom. In other words, this type of ineffective leader seeks personal rewards, power and attention.

They are always focused on themselves and their personal achievements, rather than serving others and going after great results for their company and team. The type of leader you or your managers are determines the overall success of your company. Are you and your managers effective, high-performing leaders? I have listened to many company owners complain about an underperforming manager for weeks on end, hoping it gets better without doing anything about it.

Ineffective leaders tend to tolerate poor performers rather than address problems or do what they know they should do. They avoid the pain of dealing with issues, underperforming employees, poor results or recurring problems. Which type of leader do you want in your company?

The High-Performing Leadership Test

Part 1

T or F   I accept responsibility for upholding and achieving our company vision, core values, culture, teamwork, goals, growth, profits and talent development.

T or F   As the leader, I am privileged to serve others, help my team grow and help them achieve the best results possible.

T or F   My role is to improve our business, build capacity, innovate and move toward a higher level of success.

T or F   I am responsible to develop, recruit and retain a winning team with the ability to handle the current and future workload.

T or F   I regularly review and monitor our company and project financials—as well as results and scorecards—and share them with my management team.

T or F   I spend more time coaching, mentoring and managing my people than doing the work.

T or F   I regularly review and communicate our company vision, core values, strategy and goals with the team. 

T or F   I involve others and let them help develop and implement our project systems and action plans.

T or F   I regularly take time to motivate and appreciate my direct reports and team.

T or F   I delegate most important tasks and decisions to others.

T of F   I don’t micromanage.


Part 2

T or F   My leadership role is a reward for my years of hard work, dedication and success.

T or F   My role should be pleasant, convenient and enjoyable.

T or F   I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my interests or priorities for employees or customers.

T or F   I don’t have to do tasks I don’t want to do or that are menial, unpleasant or difficult. 

T or F   I tend to delegate or avoid things I don’t like to handle.

T or F   I show special treatment to some employees and allow them to sidestep our processes, miss deadlines and make excuses.

T or F   I should not have to manage or hold good employees accountable or meet with them often to make sure they are performing their required duties.

T or F   I don’t have time to set and attend regular meetings with managers or employees.

T or F   My management team is not held responsible for achieving our overall company initiatives, targets and goals.

T or F   I don’t like to share much of the financial results with others.

T or F   I have been known to complain about managers, employees, customers, competition, results and recurring problems.


Test Results

Compile the total number of true answers for each part and compare. 

  1. Part 1More true answers on this part indicate you are a responsible-for-results focused leader.
  2. Part 2More true answers on this part indicate you are a self-rewards-focused leader.