9 Characters of Leadership – The Connector Leader

Connector Leaders are unable to DO leadership and management technically as well as others. Connector leaders are those highly adept in the softer skills of influencing fellow humans and either resort to manipulative methods to maintain their leadership or give of themselves to others continuously. Many clients of mine get concerned about this. To manipulate someone is usually considered a negative characteristic, and for many who feel that they have been manipulated by someone associate the term negatively. So let me clarify by turning to our trusty dictionary.com again…

ma·nip·u·late [muh-nip-yuh-leyt]–verb (used with object), -lat·ed, -lat·ing.

    • to manage or influence skillfully, esp. in an unfair manner: to manipulate people’s feelings.
    • to handle, manage, or use, esp. with skill, in some process of treatment or performance: to manipulate a large tractor.
    • to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one’s purpose or advantage.

Manipulation is a prized skill. Sure some individuals use their highly developed influencing skills for personal gain over others. And let me be honest here, the vast majority of Connector Leaders that we have met and worked with do, at least when we first meet them, belong to this darker side of the skill use.

The other side of Connector Leaders are those who are ‘Go-Givers’. Such individuals are the kings and queens of the networking circuit. Always looking for a way to refer someone else and connect them with appropriate opportunities. The caveat for some leaders here is that their generosity is not always reciprocated and if the desire to help others is less than completely genuine, they can end up very bitter and resentful.

As a business leader, the ‘Connector’ seeks to expand their circle of influence, some for leverage, others as ‘go-givers’. Underlying motive is key to understanding Connectors. The ‘Connector Leader’ may use the skills of others, claiming recognition for others efforts and yet makes them feel good about it. Other Connectors add value to others, often at the expense of themselves.

Manipulative Connector leaders abound throughout the world. These are often the leaders who ‘play politics’ very well. They know who is key to their future and will easily use their skills to ‘shmooze’ and persuade. If left on their own, they would flounder, yet they seem to do more than survive, even thrive in many organizations. If the Conqueror is the home of the despots then this is the home of nepotism.

Leaders I include here: Several politicians fit this category and a large proportion of people in high level leadership positions that you know. Often the ‘Chairman’s son/nephew or son-in-law.’

Erm… my assessment puts me here and I don’t like it!

Hold on a moment!

Being a fox is not all bad. There are some great and important leadership skills. Skills that others often lack and thus you have the upper hand. Influencing skills in particular are usually strongest.

With this alone, such leaders have a fabulous opportunity. All you really need to consider is your own Values!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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