Why companies should have two leaders


I do get some questions from my readers, and I love it when I do. However I notice a trend in the questions being about leaders that are not available. Finding time to align your thoughts with your manager is a challenging quest. Everybody knows that managers are busy. Maybe your boss is too busy to care about you?

The DiSC-test

DISC modelI actually remember one of my initial thoughts the first time I took the DiSC test. This test determines your personality type, by asking a lot of multiple choice questions. It determines if you are a person of action or inspiration. You will find out if you are extrovert or introvert, if you like routines or are tending more to a creative space. Back to my initial thought, I felt that if the world is according to the DiSC test every company should have two different people running it – A strong D and a strong I as a team. The D is the action oriented person – the person that gets things done. Everybody wants this person as a leader, as they are clear and gets things done. But wait. The strong D lacks people skills. They tend to run the machine even if people get in the way. The strong I is an inspiration, they speak well and can persuade a rock to believe it can fly. The D however might just pick up the rock and throw it. The I are often found in sales or on the stage giving a great speech about motivation. Nevertheless the I is all about talk and no action.

[quote]Two leaders in a company? I like this idea from @frodeheimen | http://www.nevermindthemanager.com/?p=1149 #leadership – Tweet this[/quote]

I hate to label people in groups, so understand that this is the outer edges. But if we include another dimension to this equation – time. Time is precious, and a material almost out of stock with most leaders. This is why your company would benefit from having two people in charge? A manager and a leader.

The I and the D

I in team

Yes, I know that there is an I stuck in the A-holes.

There is no I and D in TEAM, however there is in DRIVE. What if the D could be the CEO, running the business, crunching the numbers, facing the board and external contracts? Doing what the CEO does best. And the other boss, the I – could cheer the crowds, be there for the people. Hold the inspiring speeches, and bringing enthusiasm into the organization. This person’s only agenda is to interact with the people. Imagine if your new found happy and engaged employees would increase their effort with 10-15 %? I guess you could afford to invest in a chief of motivation and engagement, and then you as the CEO could use the time on stuff you feel is important.

Wouldn’t you just love to work for that kind of company?

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4 Comments on "Why companies should have two leaders"

  1. Kevin Sadler | February 26, 2014 at 7:37 am |

    Hi, we actually have this co leadership theme and it does work well it involves total trust and quality relationship between the two manager and inspirer. After time both begin to operate with more of the other quality. Care to stay at the edge of your game so that you operate at the edge of your quality so that you don’t each become the same or equalize! Also the organisation will attract a more diverse people base

  2. MethodLeadership | May 10, 2013 at 12:05 am |

    Hi Frode,
    I like the thinking and rational behind the idea, but the Chinese have a saying:  “There cannot be two tigers on one mountain.”  To succeed, one leader would need to be subordinate to the other, which, in fact, is often the case.  Think Lincoln and Grant, for example.  The precondition for success for any leadership group is consistency between them – they need to be absolutely “as one” in their internal and external communication.

  3. katiepaterson | May 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm |

    I haven’t done the DISC test but wonder if there is a person that would have the balance of the D & the I that is the perfect equation for a great leader. The different skill sets/personalities in DISC also speaks to how to build a complete team or department as well. It is important to ensure all those elements are accounted for so the team can be a well oiled machine. Thanks for a great post!

  4. Stephan De Villiers | April 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm |

    Hi Frode, I have done the DISC test myself as an individual and as part of my previous company’s management team.  I have to say it is very insightful and a tremendous tool to enhance understanding employees as well as fellow managers.
    One question with regards to your post:
    What about the other two personality types?  I believe a C or S type could make an equally successful CEO’s.
    What I do get from the post is that no Manager is an Island.  It does not matter which type you are, you have to be “big” enough to surround yourself with strong people, displaying skills in areas where you may lack a certain skill set.  
    The key to great business leadership is not to be the smartest and strongest, but to be able to surround yourself with strong ans smart people.
    Good Post.  Thanks.

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