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The 3 Leader Profiles You MUST Avoid

Source |  | John Eades

The feeling in my stomach was sickening. At first, I sat there in slight disbelief with the simple thought running through my head over and over, “How in the world could my team possibly rate me like this?” As I continued through my leader report, the feeling didn’t get better as I read, “He micromanages a lot” and “He treats people differently based on who you are.” Candidly, it was hard to read. As I sat back in my chair fighting off feelings of anger and disappointment, I saw the words a mentor had spoken to me that I had written on a notecard:

“Don’t ever underestimate anyone”

I had been underestimating my team and failing to empower them to become the best version of themselves.

I hope you have never had the experience of your own team saying negative things about you, but I am sure you can relate. For me it was the green light I needed to improve and make real lasting change to ultimately become a more effective leader.

Fast forward 4 years and we have set out to make sure those feelings don’t happen to you. A recent survey we conducted revealed what the most effective leaders do differently. In short, it’s their ability to lead with high levels of both love and discipline, simultaneously, or in what we call “the Welding Zone.”

Love & Discipline are defined as:

Love (verb): To contribute to someone’s long term success and well being.

Discipline (verb): To promote standards in order for an individual to choose to be at their best

From the survey results, 4 distinct Leader Profiles became evident depending on the levels of Love and Discipline a leader leveraged.


The Exploiter has never been about the team and thinks about number one first. They often use their positions of power to rule from the high tower, push people instead of pull, and rarely lead from the front lines. Here are a few other highlights:


  • Scores low in love and discipline.
  • Manipulates situations to their advantage.
  • Rarely loved by their direct reports.
  • Highly driven by financial success.


The Pleaser has a difficult time giving constructive feedback and prefers harmony over conflict or discomfort. They often let poor behavior or questionable work go without saying a word in an effort to “protect” the other person’s feelings.


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