I recently re-read The Starfish And The Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. I was drawn to a comparison the authors make between two types of leaders. The CEO and the Catalyst.
The authors advocate that leaders need to be catalysts, but they caution…
“This type of leadership isn’t ideal for all situations. Catalysts are bound to rock the boat. They are much better at being agents of change than guardians of tradition. Catalysts do well in situations that call for radical change and creative thinking. They bring innovation, but they’re also likely to create a certain amount of chaos and ambiguity. Put them into a structured environment and they might suffocate. But let them dream and they’ll thrive.”
I have examined my leadership style closely and honestly and I am mainly a catalyst, though, I think, we all may blend elements of both CEO and Catalyst.
I am often frustrated and frequently I frustrate others with my constant “What if …?” and “Why?” questions. I am frequently questioning of process and procedure to the consternation of myself and others.
Asking “why” can frustrate yourself as much as those around you.
Also, being drive to change and innovate brings with it the possibility of failure. The catalyst has to be able to deal with the consequences that might result for highly innovative or creative ideas.
What is your thinking style? Does it lend itself more to the CEO or the Catalyst?
In what ways have you considered and or mitigated the weaknesses of your given style of leadership?
How might you turn the weakness of each of the two styles into an advantage for yourself?
In what ways might you try to lead or solve a problem using a different style of leadership?
What problem are you working on that might benefit from being a peer, showing trust, being more emotionally intelligent, inspirational, collaborative, working behind the scenes, being comfortable with ambiguity, or connecting?
What are the larger implications of your leadership style for your church, ministry, organization, or team?
How might you become more catalytic?
What steps might you take? Who are where can you look for help in this?