What type of leader do you have the potential to be?

What type of leader do you have the potential to be?

Understanding yourself and your potential as a leader.

Completing a CharacterScope Self-Review is your opportunity to discover yourself as a leader.

Like working with any good coach, the starting point is a thorough review:

  • What are your strengths?
  • Your gaps?
  • Which of the 9 Leader Types is your best fit?
  • Is this in line with your aspirations as a leader?

The CharacterScope 9 Leader Types

Each type has a unique way of leading and inspiring those around them. The below explanations can help you decide your aspirational leader types.

If you want to find out more about how CharacterScope can support your development click here.

The Innovator

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”

Miles Davis – Jazz musician

They are willing to think the unthinkable, make connections others miss, good at anticipating how the world may change and are willing to make bold, game-changing decisions, even at the risk of failure or seeming foolish.

The Entrepreneurial leader

“It was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company.” Jay Z – Music, recording, clothing, sports agency They are great at spotting the potential in situations and have the network of contacts, personal resourcefulness and determination to follow through and turn possibilities into reality.
The Executional leader

“Done is better than perfect” Sheryl Sandberg – Business leader, author The Executional leader is focused and driven to achieve great results. They will work tirelessly on a challenging task until it is completed, galvanising and driving the efforts of others, often with little or no regard for relationships or workplace politics.
The Practical Leader

“It is far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

Warren Buffet – Investor

They are great at translating strategy into practical results, with a strong feel for what will work in the real world. They balance the short-term with the long-term, bringing a sustained focus on improving the quality, reliability and effectiveness of whatever they are leading.

The Strategist

“The financial service industry is a service industry. It should service others before itself.”

Christine Lagarde. MD, IMF

They provide strategic clarity to people and organisations. They are valued for their judgement, their wisdom about what is going on and their insight about what needs to happen to move a difficult task forward, unstick a relationship, or handle a tricky people situation.
The Servant leader


“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”

Nelson Mandela – Statesman, South Africa

The Servant Leader gets their own ego out of the way and focuses on the team and organisation around them. They pull people together around shared goals, recognise and play to people’s strengths and inspire teams to perform strongly. Many come to personify the team, to embody its core values and identity.

The Transformational Leader

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”

Steve Jobs – Apple

They are great at leading people and organisations through change. Some deliver change in processes, products and structures, but the best are just good at changing beliefs, mind-sets and culture.

The Charismatic leader
“Don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” Michelle Obama – Former First Lady, lawyer and writer They seem to pull people towards them – who are drawn by their inner convictions and vision. The best create inspiration, energy and change for people, generating a sense of possibilities and potential.
The Professional

“Always be more than you appear and never appear to be more than you are.”

Angela Merkel – Politician, Germany

Professionals are known for their commitment to mastery of their chosen subjects and their determination to deliver on whatever personal commitments they make. They work with great energy, drive and focus in the service of others.

3 thoughts about you and leadership

3 thoughts about you and leadership

The Solo and Viewpoints reports helps you tune into yourself and understand your strengths, gaps and potential better. It will give you fresh insights into how your unique pattern of strengths means you are suited to make particular leadership contributions.


Are you a leader?

You might not think about yourself as a leader, but CharacterScope wants to challenge this thinking. Our simple idea is that everybody leads at different times in their lives and in different situations. And we believe that life does significantly improve for people who become better leaders and for those they lead: work life, home life. social life, maybe even your love life

When we, and the people around us lead well, magic happens. We feel more confident, connected and compelled to step up. We get things done more easily. Day to day experiences are more enjoyable. There’s less friction or wasted time.

We care more.

We feel better.

We are better.

So the question whether you have the title ‘leader’ in your job description matters much less than the pattern of your actions and the qualities of your character.


3 things to know about leading

People follow people

Leadership is a personal thing. We follow people because of who they are and what they stand for. And this means others will follow you because of who you are rather than what you know or are good at doing. CharacterScope will help you understand and value your strengths and so be clearer and more confident about who you are as a leader.

Develop through strengths

Effective leadership learning does not come from focusing on your weaknesses. Just as the best athletes understand what disciplines they are suited to, so CharacterScope will help you understand what contribution your strengths naturally suit you to. Building on these strengths will be a more effective route to development than trying to cover off your gaps, becoming something you are not. Development is not about closing gaps.

Mind the gap

No-one is good at everything, no-one has strengths in every area, and we all have gaps in the pattern of our strengths. A gap risks becoming a liability if you ignore it. But rather than trying to turn a gap into a strength, why not get better at spotting and valuing others whose natural strengths can provide cover for your gaps.


Read more about the CharacterScope 9 Leader types in the next article: What type of leader do you have the potential to be?

Can people change?

Can people change?

Do you believe you can change, learn and grow? Or do you believe that your abilities are innate and can only be developed up to a fixed level? Can intelligence and character can be changed? Or are they set, and there is not much we can do to alter them?

This difference in beliefs is known as the ‘fixed vs. growth’ mindset and has been researched extensively by Carol Dweck. Those with a fixed mindset believe that success and intelligence are innate, and those with a growth mindset believe that success is due to hard work and learning, and that with effort, intelligence and character can be changed.

In her research, Dweck has found that those with a fixed mindset can get caught in a desire to look clever in all situations, seeking to confirm that they are inherently intelligent. This can lead them to avoid challenges if they don’t think they will perform well, and they are more likely to give up easily when faced with obstacles. The result is that those with a fixed mindset may achieve less than their full potential, as they are hesitant to push themselves out of their comfort zone. In contrast, people with a growth mindset are more likely to persevere with challenges even if they don’t perform strongly in the first instance. Their openness to learning and belief in the possibility of growth serving as a motivation to sustain them through set-backs.

CharacterScope is founded on a growth mindset: that character and intelligence can be developed given the right focus, effort and support:

  • Focus means choosing your goals for yourself wisely. We believe that people can achieve anything they set their mind and heart to, but if they try to be everything and achieve everything their effort will be diluted and lack focus.
  • Effort means accepting the hard work that comes with the chosen goal. It is easiest to see in sport – top level performance does not come without sacrifice and dedication.
  • Support – CharacterScope is carefully designed to support you and prompt you to be your best self. Yet it is even more powerful if there is a coach, mentor or friend to help you stay motivated and handle the inevitable obstacles.

So our message is that the change you want to see is possible and CharacterScope will help guide your journey.

Why tips don’t work

Why tips don’t work

It is a nice idea to think that there are tips or hacks that will make our lives better. A silver bullet that those in the know are aware of and that we have finally been granted access to.

But try this simple test: type ’10 tips’ into Google and see how many pages are returned. At the time of writing, the number is 768 million. And if you try ‘2 tips’ the number approaches one billion.

A billion pages

A billion pages of advice, hacks and tips! Even if we narrow it to ‘leadership development tips’, there are still over 5 million pages to search through. Common sense tells us that they can’t all be right. And a bit more thinking suggests that if development were as simple as finding the right tips, human kind would have developed into a far more advanced state than we’ve managed so far.

Habits not tips

If development is about more than tips and hacks, what is it about? With my colleagues we have worked for many years helping people change, grow and develop and our conclusion is that at core development is about habits: creating new habits, changing existing habits, and even throwing off old ones. And by ‘habit’ we are referring not just to patterns of acting and behaviour, but also to patterns of thought and to patterns of feeling and emotion.

So if you are interested in your own development, focus on your habits: spotting them, changing them, creating them.