by Elliott Kronenfeld

We are all leaders – in our own way.   Whether we are at work, with our friends or family or in a social organization, we are all leaders.  We may not be the stand in the front of the room and yell a rallying cry kind of leader, but we all influence others and leave an impact on those around us.  What kind of leader are you?

When patients come to see me about how to be assertive in their lives, we often talk about their leadership skills.  I want to know how they come to influence others, what is most important to them? Leaders usually have a particular focus on how they see the world.  Understanding that focus often sharpens one’s awareness allows them to tap deeper into the well of leadership and assertiveness.  Let’s look at the options:

Rule -driven leadership:

Rule-driven leadership is about ensuring that you and others adhere to the stated or assumed rules of behavior. When you find yourself looking at whether something is right or wrong, legal or illegal, you are utilizing rule-driven leadership. It is about ensuring the playbook is followed.  After all, don’t we all have to follow the same rules?

Mission-driven leadership:

Mission-driven leadership is about goal attainment, usually at any cost. Get it done! Take the hill! Compete! Sometimes we have to take those rules and throw them away so that we can win! Mission-driven leaders are the ones that are so focused on the goal and accomplishing it that they operate from a “it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission” mentality. 

Culture-driven leadership:

Culture-driven leadership is based on how we do things around here.  These are the leaders that are focused more on the community of the people and tapping into the sense of togetherness in order to see movement. We may not move as fast as the mission-driven folks, but at least we will ensure that everyone makes it to the finish line! When you hear people talking about that is always the way we do it or looking to set rituals and traditions, they are culture-driven leaders.

All the leadership types can be successful.  One is not better than the other once you learn how to use those skills effectively. Some people can be a hybrid and combine skills based on the situation.

Whatever type of leader you are… be the best leader you can be!

If you are looking for personal development and want help creating a stronger personal voice, contact Elliott at

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