Transforming Leadership Series Part 3: The Expert and The Achiever

According to Torbert’s study, 80% of leaders fall into the two categories of The Expert and The Achiever. To read more about the other categories, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

The Expert:
At this level of leadership, individuals actively seek to be problem-solvers. Differentiating themselves motivates them. They like to be seen as offering value. They can be harsh in self criticism and criticism of others, based on their judgment of excellence, efficiency or expertise. As a result of their quest for perfection and order, they can be dogmatic and rigid. Will only accept feedback from personally perceived experts. Might be adrenalin junkies motivated by speed and efficiency.

What to learn:

  • Recognize judgments and criticism of others’ positions
  • Explore new perspectives and frameworks for issues that might seem contradictory
  • Be vulnerable by stating your opinions and feelings
  • Analyze what it means to be effective more than efficient

The Achiever:

  • Sees role as a leader to inspire and be the initiator with a clear, shared, long-term vision.
  • Has confidence in own contribution, so welcomes feedback.
  • Values relationships and seeks mutuality rather than hierarchy.
  • Will be creative with time because complexity motivates.
  • Sets high standards for performance as well as ethically and morally.
  • Strives daily to meet or improve on performance standards.

What to learn:

  • To be still so that perceptions and deeper insights develop
  • To recognize and acknowledge contributions made by others
  • Consistently explore others’ frames of reference
  • Focus on inclusion

I dramatically improve leadership performance through exploring what transformation means individually and for the organization.


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