Leadership Style: Trophy Hunter

[Part 2 of a 6 part ongoing series] There are many different types of people in the world, and many different types of leaders.  Unfortunately, most do irreparable harm to those they surround themselves with.  But, what are the different kinds of leaders?  What, if anything, can we take from them?  And is there a better approach to leading people?  Take a look. Styles already covered: Lone Wolf

This leader is often quite charismatic.  They know how to attract a crowd and are great storytellers.  Sometimes even too good.  You may find yourself questioning the veracity of their stories from time to time.

Trophy hunters have an eye for the big game.  They can spot a potential leader from far off.  From there, it’s just a matter of time before they draw them in with promises of making them just like the hunter.  Flashy, successful, and surrounded by potential leaders to develop.  It’s an offer that seems too good to be true.

That’s because it is.  Because, while some trophy hunters have good intentions, most do not.  And regardless of intentionality, the people they surround themselves with over time begin to find that they’re not being developed.  The promise of becoming the big, influential leader has disappeared and they are little more than a trophy on the wall.  An accomplishment to point out to others.  They become the very thing that sucked them in. The trophy hunter was surrounded by others with potential.  And now the team knows why.

It could very well be that the trophy hunter’s desires were noble.  Unfortunately, they’re too much of a recruiter and promoter to do much else.  They end up having little time to develop the posse that they’ve created.  There’s always that next big catch just on the horizon.

And so, the team ends up doing their best to try and develop each other.  Which, while commendable, can only take them so far before one of them rises up as the new trophy hunter and poaches many from the group.  The rest tend to walk away out of frustration.  But what else can be expected when your leadership model is to target the big game, stockpile them, and use them to make ourselves look good and feel better?

I know people who fall into this category. I’ve worked with them and worked under them.  It’s a terrifying moment when you realize that you were never destined to be the hunter.  Because at that point, you realize that all along, you’ve merely been one of the trophies.

What is the Trophy Leader’s greatest downfall?  How can they improve their style and still keep the flash that draws people to them in the first place.  Let me know in the comments.

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