STO LEADERSHIP & Other Names: A Fighter, A Fixer Or A Friend? #IncMagazine #JonathanRaymond

As A Leader, Are You A Fighter, A Fixer Or A Friend? An Interview with author and CEO Jonathan Raymond

by Kevin Kruse, Inc. Magazine, 4/20/17.

What’s your leadership style? Are you a friend, fixer, or fighter?

Jonathan Raymond is a CEO at Refound, a personal growth teacher, and the author of Good Authority. I recently interviewed Jonathan for the LEADx podcast to learn more about his thoughts on what real leadership means to him. (The interview below has been lightly edited for space and clarity.)

…Jonathan Raymond: Yeah, so what I think historically, let’s go back really briefly. So old school authority, command and control, top down, the omniscient omnipotent CEO or boss, whatever, usually a man in the past. Not so much these days, but that kind of old line authority, right? Where you do it for the boss. It’s not that that model doesn’t exist in the world anymore, it’s still around; we still see it popping up here and there. But what’s happened over the last 10 or 15 years in particular, especially in North America, but elsewhere too, there was this snapback. We went all the way to the other extreme where we’re― at least pretending to be― no authority. That “We’re all on the same team,” “Let’s all get along,” “Isn’t this such a wonderful culture?,” “We don’t have an org chart!”, all those kinds of, I would say, aspirational ideas. Which was in the realm of no authority.

…Kruse: You say when it comes to leadership there’s really three main archetypes. Talk about that.

Raymond: I think of them as leadership and/or management archetypes. What I call “the fixer,” “the fighter,” or “the friend.” It’s not that you’re onlythis thing; this is the really important thing. This is both a shadow, and light. This is good and bad, best and worst of us in these archetypes. I’ll start with the one in the middle, which is the fighter.

{With) “the fighter,” you always have a new idea. You’re always pushing things forward, you never take no for an answer. You’re always driving, there’s always momentum. What’s the good side of that? The good side of that is that’s fun. It’s fun to work for somebody like that, where you feel like you’re part of something, the train is moving, there’s vision. Fighter style leaders and managers–they have a sense of where they’re going, or at least they’re good at persuading other people they do. The shadow side of that is, it’s really hard to keep up with that fighter. It’s really hard to deal with the constantly shifting priorities and tasks, and, “Well, I thought we were doing this thing, but now we’re doing this thing.” It places an enormous amount of torque on your team if you don’t keep that fighter gift, that fighter impulse in check. That’s the fighter.

“The fixer” is the one who’s really the most closely, easily identified as such. In the sense that the fixer’s the one who’s always checking every email before it goes out, catches every typo, nothing goes out unless it’s absolutely perfect, gets really upset about minor details and glitches, which is not to say that minor details and glitches are not important. They’re critical. That’s the best of the fixer is their sense of craftsmanship. Is the job done well in excellence? That’s the best of the fixer.

The problem with that gift, again, unchecked, is everybody feels like, “Well I can never do it well enough for them.” It’s never good enough for the fixer. To be able to dial that back, and choose your battles as a fixer. Realize, “You know what? This is a learning opportunity for somebody because this one here, this is not okay that this went out this way. You know what? I can actually let this other one go.” I’m more of the fighter than the fixer, that took me many, many years to be like, “You know what? It’s just not that important. I’m going to let that one go. I’m going to find another moment to make that teaching point.”

The last of the three is much more and more common these days, but are called the “friend” archetype. This is the one who’s everybody’s pal. Really thinking about culture, thinking about the vibe. Their door is always open, their collegial, they often talk about business as family, “We’re all on the same team.” That’s the good side, and the bad side. The good side warm and welcoming vibe, people know they’re somebody to talk to. The downside is, there’s always somebody to talk to. The friend style leader struggles with boundaries, struggles with accountability. Says, “You know what? We actually talked about this before. I don’t want to spend another half an hour talking about it. I need you to go do a piece of work on this. Then you come back to me with what you found.”

The friend leader in mentoring, when I work with friend type leaders, is I really try to get them to see that the people on your team, they don’t want you to be there best friend. I promise you, they don’t want you to be there. They want firm, clear expectations. They want firm boundaries. They want it delivered kindly, they want it with compassion. That’s the best at what you do. If you don’t set boundaries and hold people accountable, you’re missing the better half of the equation.

Read more at …