If you’re like most nonprofit leaders, you’ve likely gone through your fair share of leadership skills training such as marketing, budgeting, goal setting, etc. However, you may never have made it a priority to look within yourself as a leader, and learn more about your own personal leadership style. This proves to be a crucial part of being a leader as you work with others. In order to effectively run a nonprofit, or communicate with other leaders, you must first understand your leadership style. 

Throughout my years of work with nonprofits, I have encountered four different types of leaders. Each type holds their own unique traits, with strengths and weaknesses along the way. Our own personal leadership style directly affects how we are perceived, as well as how we see others. You may not fit directly into one style, perhaps you’re a mixture of two, but nearly all leaders will have traits similar to at least one of the four distinct types. 

By figuring out which leadership style describes you best, you will not only learn more about yourself, but you will learn how to interact with others who may not be similar to you in terms of leadership. You may have a huge variation of styles amongst your board, but understanding each style is what enables you to move forward and grow as a team, in turn making a greater impact. Take a glance at this table showcasing the top pros/cons of each leadership style. 

Leadership Style Pros Cons
“The Captain”
  • Go-getter
  • Takes on tasks
  • Takes control
  • Finds it difficult to ask for help
“The Champion”
  • People-oriented
  • Passionate
  • Maintains relationships
  • Burnout easily
  • Hesitant to hand off tasks
“The Guardian”
  • Knows the strengths of the board well
  • Shares important information with everyone
  • Weary of new things/risks
  • Tend to play it safe
“The Director” or “Balanced Leader”
  • Highly involved
  • Promotes open communication
  • Delegates tasks well
  • May lack passion when getting started

Eager to learn more about which style describes you best?

Take the Leadership Styles Quiz and find out! You just might be surprised with the results! 

I recently took the quiz and came out as a Director. It makes sense to me and probably would to those I have led in the past. Relying on a team to help execute goals has always been a large contributing factor in my strategy. I tend to be task-oriented, with a strong focus on the vision, and getting the organization, staff, board, and volunteers heading in the right direction. 

Now it’s your turn! Gain a little insight into your leadership style, pass the quiz along to other leaders, and let me know how it helps you make a greater impact! 

Leadership styles are just one small part of your nonprofit, but extremely necessary to take into consideration.

If you are interested in learning more about leadership, check out my new book, From the Inside Out: Leading Where it Matters Most. Get a head start and read the first chapter, here, for free