Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership The Leadership Spectrum: I. Three Primary Perspectives and Practices

The Leadership Spectrum: I. Three Primary Perspectives and Practices

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The Azure Blue Leader of Vision

This is the Azure Blue style of leadership that points to the sky so that we might all see the Intentions. Rather than looking down at the ground to see only the present state, we look upward to envision the future. Rather than starting a fire to produce energy (and ideas), we look up at the sky to find the energy inherent in the force of an inspiring image. Toward what are we moving—that is the key question. We must find direction in the midst of complexity, unpredictability and turbulence. Vision requires that we find a consistent and compelling sense of mission and purpose. This is the leader who points in the direction of the enemy—so that the troops they are commanding know where to move when leaving the foxhole. Furthermore, these are the leaders who inspire their troops—showing them why they have taken on this enemy and why their courage and commitment truly makes a difference regarding the future of their family, organization, or society. The key motto is: “Where are we going?”

The Blue Sky of Idealism

The idealist is someone who can envision rapidly how things could be and should be better. Within minutes of arriving on a new job, entering a new relationship, purchasing a new home or formulating a new program, the idealist is imagining and “seeing” how things could be improved. He or she challenges the mundane reasoning of the realist and notes that new perspectives are needed on old problems if the activist is to be successful in generating proposals to solve these problems.

Like the Golden Yellow realist, the idealist is reflective—but in a big-picture sense, not because he has a great interest in adequate information. The idealist is concerned about those who ponder the means too heavily and lose sight of the ends—concerned about losing the war while seeming to win individual battles through expedience. The idealist confronts the realist with her lack of courage: if bold vision is lacking then when will risks be taken and progress made? Without courage and vision where is the capacity to endure against adversity?

The Azure Blue Relationship

While the Ruby Red relationship tends to be built on the accomplishment of a task, the Azure Blue relationship is built around persuasive and caring. The Azure Blue leader looks to establish relationships with people who share their interests—and in particular their personal values and life purposes The best working environment for someone with an Azure Blue orientation is one that is infused with a strong and highly supportive culture. Metaphors of water, sky, floating, and flying are often found in this type of culture—regardless of the country in which the Azure Blue leader is working. There is often an ongoing search among Azure Blue leaders for these metaphors and the compelling images and visions associated with these metaphors.

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