Psychology and Leadership, Part 3: Activity and Methods

In the first two parts of this five-part series on Perceptual Styles Theory and leadership, we examined the five qualities of effective leaders, regardless of Perceptual Style. In these last three articles, we’ll look at the unique leadership qualities of each specific Perceptual Style, along with real world examples of each.*The Activity Leadership StyleThose with the Activity Perceptual Style don’t tend to be continuous leaders. (In general, they prefer to let people pursue their own directions.) If, however, a crisis or situational problem arises, they will step up to a leadership role.

In these situations, those with the Activity styles are not overt or commanding. Others follow them simply because their sensitivity to the subtleties and complexities of relational politics commands respect.

People with the Activity style tend to influence the actions and decisions of key people with whom they have built influential relationships, drawing upon a wide variety of resources. Because they only sporadically use the influence they have, their influence can be powerful when they do. In addition to using the clout they have with people in key positions, they lead by creating alliances with those they recognize as supporting their goals.

In the real world, the Activity leadership style can be readily seen in the entertainment industry, in celebrities who use their popularity and social standing to organize and support social causes—such as Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres—and those who have behind-the-scenes influence, such as Ben Stiller and Danny DeVito.

The Methods Leadership Style

Those with the Methods Perceptual Style lead logically and matter-of-factly. They believe that analysis of the facts will point to the correct and most effective course of action, so they do not take unnecessary risks. These qualities make people with the Methods style quiet leaders who move followers forward incrementally, securing gains as they go, and solidifying their positions before moving forward again.

Those with the Methods style tend to be calm in the face of crisis and steer a steady course through chaotic times, but they intervene reluctantly and change direction only after a complete empirical examination of a situation. When things are moving forward smoothly, they are content to let things be, refusing to unsettle a plan that is working just for the sake of change. Methods leaders attract followers with the common sense aspect of their clear, rational approach.

The Methods leadership style can be readily seen in the professional sports world, in coaches such as Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys), Phil Jackson (Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers), and Joe Torre (New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers), as well as in the political arena, in people such as Gerald Ford and Dwight Eisenhower.

*It is impossible to determine another’s PS by observation alone. This is especially true for public figures. The examples provided ‘appear’, based on their public behavior, to be the PS for which they are used as examples. However, without a complete Perceptual Style Assessment, their particular PS is simply an educated guess.

Lynda-Ross Vega: A partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd., Lynda-Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and coaches build dynamite teams and systems that WORK. She is co-creator of Perceptual Style Theory, a revolutionary psychological assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their deepest potentials for success. For free information on how to succeed as an entrepreneur or coach, create a thriving business and build your bottom line doing more of what you love, visit www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.

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