Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Leadership Styles Based on Myers Briggs/Jung Typology

This describes a popular model of leadership styles that can be used as the basis for leadership training or individual coaching. These leadership styles are based on Carl Jung's eight psychological types and so are related to Myers Briggs preferences. This model assumes a modern leader will: develop flexibility to be able to use any of the styles; recognize the different demands of each situation; adapt appropriately, by using the style(s) that will give optimum success; ensure one's own needs are met You can look at leadership styles from one of two perspectives. The first is to ask what is my leadership style? This is to focus on what you enjoy, what you might be good at, what strengths and weaknesses you have. The second is to ask what leadership style is best for the people, team or organization that I'm leading? Focus on the needs of the situation, on the criteria for success, on the approach that will bring about the maximum impact. Modern leadership demands both. You need to recognize your own strengths and exploit them, but you also need to have an ability to adapt your style to different situations in order to achieve the maximum effectiveness. Rather than using solely one's own preferred style, excellent leaders are able to take different approaches to suit the various needs of differing circumstances, whilst also making sure that their own needs are met. Success is developing the external awareness of what is required, and the internal flexibility to be able to access each style as appropriate.


  1. Norman,

    Thanks for the provoking our thinking on leadership styles and personality. I agree that different circumstances or contexts call for different types of leadership. You wrote “Success is developing the external awareness of what is required, and the internal flexibility to be able to access each style as appropriate.” This sentence is challenging indeed. The second half seems to be the most difficult for me. I am gaining an increasing awareness of my leadership style, but acting outside of that certainly is difficult for me. Although I could pull it off for temporary situations, I am not sure that I could last for long if I tried to be anything other than an NF.

    Is the assumption that one leader should be able to do it all? What if a leader is part of a team of leaders, and different leadership styles are included on the team? Is that a more likely model for success? Letting people work within their leadership styles in different contexts as they are required seems to be a good idea. However, working with a team does not prevent myself and other leaders from needing to operate outside of our preferred style when the context or organization demands.


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