A Quick Guide To The Seven Transformations of Leadership

Most developmental psychologists agree on the fact that the difference in leadership quality doesn’t come much from their philosophies regarding leadership or their personality or the style and management, as much it comes from their action logic.

Action logic is basically this internal interpretation of their surroundings and how they react to it. What reactions do they emit when they are being challenged or their skills are put to the test?

Very few leaders focus on understanding, learning, and being aware of their action logic and harnessing the best of themselves. 

Leaders, who are conscientious enough to take the pursuit becoming better, more aware of themselves, and explore their personal development and growth, are closer to transformation. 

There is something called Seven action Logics, a research-based tool called Leadership Development Profile. 

So we discuss here the seven transformations of leadership that present these seven action logics, including Opportunist, Diplomat, Expert, Achiever, Individualist, Strategist, and Alchemist. 

Seven Transformations of Leadership

  • The Opportunist 
  • The Diplomat
  • The Expert
  • The Achiever
  • The Individualist 
  • The Strategist
  • The Alchemist

The Opportunist

These leaders are usually characterized by egocentrism, manipulativeness, and lack of trust. Such leadership styles focus more on personal wins than mutual goals. 

These are the type of leaders who see the people and the world as opportunities that they can exploit to scale themselves. 

Such leaders often treat people as more like their competitors or objects, sometimes to their reach and destination. 

Opportunist leadership tends to recognize their ‘bad’ behavior and legitimize it to their point of view of the world as an eye-for-an-eye concept. 

As for them, people are either a means to reach your destination, or they are mostly just a distraction. 

Such leaders externalize their blame and apparently reject feedback from people as well. Their retaliation to something often feels harsh. 

However, these leaders indeed tend to survive longer than they could or should be compared to others. 

And it happens because they successfully offer an exciting and engaging environment where the younger executives are given a chance to take risks and be more flexible. 

The Diplomat 

So these sorts of leaders are known to loyally serve the group they adhere to. 

The Diplomats are the ones who seek to appease and please their authorities and people at a higher status level. 

More importantly, in order to please authorities or their seniors, these leaders try to avoid conflict or resolve it by any means necessary when thrown at them. 

Look at the logic a Diplomat provides. A leader can gain more prolonged acceptance, impact, and influence on people by being cooperative with the norms of the particular group. 

They abide by the rules and structure by performing their given duties and believe it is essential to keep things in order.

A Diplomat also puts greater conviction on his or her duties and roles in society, a group, or in an organization. 

They act as social glue between colleagues, or more between the authority and the employees or, say, across the hierarchies of an organization, ensuring that everyone does get proper attention. 

Also, a reason why more diplomats seem to be found in the junior ranks of any management as they are closer to the ground realities yet connected or stay loyal to their authorities to build this bridge of collaboration and communication. 

Diplomats are more polite than anyone you find, more friendly, and accessible as well. They avail themselves making them an important person among people to rely on. 

However, it is indeed challenging for them to provide honest or straightforward feedback to people.  

Since they try to avoid conflict, entering a change is harder. 

Because change is inevitable, conflicts are bound to happen, and that becomes a looming threat to diplomats, so much so that it can bring them to self-destruction. 

The Expert 

Perhaps the largest section of leaders is The Experts who assert control and manage things by improving and perfecting their knowledge or skill set. 

The Experts largely rely on their non-soft skills and focus on one or sometimes two or more areas in the professional setting, achieving conviction, credibility, and authority. 

It is not a surprise that a lot of marketing, research, accountancy, engineering, business, and investment fields are led by Experts. 

This is the most common form of leadership or section in the leadership that you see commonly or practically in various areas of life. 

Experts are basically skilled individuals and contributors who continuously and persistently in their pursuit to improve their skills and efficiency and take themselves towards perfectionism. 

So, that’s the ground level where they operate. However, as managers or leaders, in their role, they often tend to be problematic and do have their shortcomings. 

And this clearly happens because of their over-relying behavior and trust in their own skills and knowledge. They mostly feel they are always right about things. 

So when you hear people talking about their boss or senior being a my-way-or-highway type, they are basically talking about leaders who operate from The Expert action logic.

As per them, the idea of collaboration seems to be a waste of time. And since they are experts, they view other opinions as a non-expert, hence below them. 

The Achiever 

Such leaders are the people who both challenge and support their team members or the people around them. 

They are known for creating a positive, driven, and interdepartmental environment.

So while they are good at creating a positive atmosphere with a focus on delivering results, the disadvantage is their out-of-box thinking style of working.  

And that certainly is helpful and even appreciated and encouraged in employees, but it can be a downside for a leadership style. 

These leaders are quite open to receiving feedback from their team members or employees, good at listening and addressing people.  

They are also good at recognizing the fact that people have different interpretations and ways of relating to things due to their different realities. 

And that’s why they understand how important it is to focus on developing relationships with people and have the ability to influence them in a positive way.  

So, they rely quite on their team and themself being the guiding light and a driving force, but that also becomes a shortcoming. 

Because the same things become the very hurdle to them as it stops them from implementing new strategies and pulling off long-term objectives. 

The Individualist 

The action logic an Individualist understands is that neither the particular action logic nor any others are “natural”; rather, all of them are merely the construction of the self and the world. 

So, their way of relating to other perspectives and personalities is to put up with those who have other kinds of action logic. 

Just to separate them from the Achievers, they have the awareness regarding a potential conflict between their actions, principles, and others and how their values or actions are implemented. 

And this conflict for them becomes a source of all creativity and tension and their emerging desire to be better and grow. 

They also tend to ignore their principles and rules as, according to them, it becomes irrelevant when they are dealing with other perspectives and personalities. 

And this too much of their ability to adapt or be flexible often makes them somewhat irritable to their seniors and colleagues as well. 

The Strategist 

Again, these leaders are different from Individualists as one might confuse a Strategist with them. The ability to focus on the perceptions and constraints of their organization is what sets them apart from individualists. 

And it is something they recognize it as something that can be discussed, transformable, and talked upon. 

If you look at Individualists, tend to master communication with their colleagues who have different opinions, principles, or different action logic together, but Strategists focus on mastering the second-order organization effect using actions and agreements. 

As per their action logic, change in society and an organization is an iterative process of development and growth that needs intimate leadership attention and awareness. 

Such leaders are more comfortable dealing with a conflict than people with other action logics, which is why they are way better at initiating and bringing change.  

The same quality also makes them equipped to handle all kinds of change resistance from the environment and people. They know how to deal with people’s instinctive resistance toward organizational change. 

The Strategists are engaged with three levels of social interplace: personal relationships, organizational relations, and national and international developments. 

The Alchemist 

Alchemists are the type of leaders who are charismatic and quite aware people who have a certain high moral standing to live by. 

They have certain expectations of themselves and principles to abide by on the moral grounds to which they adhere. 

These leaders primarily focus a lot on the truth; that’s what matters to them the most. 

They are the ones who are able to stay at the unique moments in the history of organizations, focusing on the metaphors, symbols, and deep meanings that speak to people’s minds and hearts. 

What makes them different from Strategists is their ability to change, renew, or even re-invent themselves and their teams or organizations in dramatic ways. 

Strategists tend to move from one project to another; the Alchemists, on the other hand, have this great talent of dealing with multiple situations simultaneously and that too at different levels.

The Alchemists are the kind of leaders who are able to talk to both employees, the people at ground level, as well as the managers, CEOs, and seniors, the people at authority. 

They are talented enough to deal with all the instantaneous priorities and tasks without losing sight of the bigger picture or their long-term goals. 


Seven Transformations Of Leadership

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