April 16

Executive recruiter David Wiser once shared an insight with me that changed the way I coach leaders and creative pros. He said that in his experience, there are three fundamental types of leaders.

Builders: These are people who love wide-open spaces, a lot of autonomy, and the ability to pursue their vision. If they don’t have these elements, they are likely to blow things up just so they can build something again.

Fixers: These are people who are wired to solve problems. They love to come into situations where others are perplexed and resolve problems. However, once the problem is solved, they are ready to move on. If there isn’t a problem to solve, they might go looking for one anyway.

Optimizers: These are people who love to tweak, perfect, and squeeze the most value out of a system or process. They live for efficiency and maximizing operations. They are perpetually shaping and refining processes to make them better. However, they sometimes lack a sense of “good enough” and can overtweak to the point of diminishing value.

As you consider these three profiles, which best suits you? Do you like wide-open spaces? Solving problems? Optimizing systems?

What does that mean to your role? Your leadership? Your team?

Knowing which type of work you’re best wired for can help you avoid ruts and burnout.

Which profile best fits you, and how do you see it playing out in your work?

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