Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership The Leadership Spectrum: II. Blended Perspectives and Practices

The Leadership Spectrum: II. Blended Perspectives and Practices

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In the first essay in this series, we concentrated on the “pure” versions of each leadership style and suggested that each of these styles, at its extreme, is aligned with MBTI introversion. The introverted leader stands alone, wanting to assert their own ideas (Ruby Red), inspire with their own vision (Azure Blue) or sit back in order to collect and analyze information from the vantage point of seeming “objectivity” (Golden Yellow). What then about those leaders who want to “mix it up” with other people and seek to engage in collaborative leadership, generating ideas, intentions and information through discussion and dialogue? And what about those leaders who choose to use all three leadership styles and even to find a way in which to integrate all three?

The Rainbow Leader of Integration and Collaboration

We assign the full color spectrum—the Rainbow—to these leaders. The rainbow, in turn, requires collaboration among several elements and ultimately a beautiful integration of these elements. What are the three elements: a rainbow is created when there is sufficient heat (Ruby Red), light (Golden Yellow) and sky (Azure Blue). This, however, is not enough. There must be a precipitating (excuse the pun) event–a convening challenge if you will. This event is rain. When the challenge is being met, the rainbow appears and is cause for our appreciation of the wonders of nature.

The Rainbow Relationship

Those with a Rainbow orientation enjoy relating to other people. The relationship itself is important. It doesn’t have to lead to any great outcomes and can be established even when the participants are not in agreement on everything in the world. The participants don’t even have to share values. Many Rainbow leaders actually like to wander into foreign territory and gain a fuller understanding of alternative perspectives. They can often even articulate the alternative perspective or value better than the person holding this perspective or value. This is the true sense of epistemological relativism (Perry, 1998): we can understand a different point of view without embracing or acting on it ourselves.

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