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How a desire to learn new perspectives can influence strategy

Intellectual Leadership
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Leadership profiles

The intellectual leadership approach to leadership is the voice of reason and intellect. These leaders think critically, have clearly defined goals, and often challenge the status quo through intellectual discourse.

Due to their pragmatic and strategic abilities, they are often leaders of organizations. They master both strategic perspectives, and situational perspective to make the important decisions by balancing practicality - what their employees are capable of, and possibility - what can be achieved.

Intellectual leaders are extremely adaptable leaders. They are best in high responsibility roles, where holistic understanding and overview of the organisation are needed, such as C-level roles and responsibilities.

What does a higher score mean?

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You have a high intellectual desire, are always learning and able to balance new ideas with old ideas to find the best possible solution. Yet you are still based in reality and understand the practical limitations as well as the possibilities.

What does a lower score mean?

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You have a more practical hands-on approach to leadership and a more intellectually led, strategic style of leadership is not appealing to you.

To nurture your Intellectual Leadership:

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Take on a role that allows you to exercise your intellect, use your capacity for both practicality and creativity. Ensure you have a say in the strategic direction of your role, team, and organization, so you can add value and provide your perspective. Do not shy away from responsibility and decision-making as this makes you more effective in this leadership style.

Use this checklist for self-evaluation

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  • Do you have an opportunity to learn in your role?
  • Can you create an opportunity to influence strategic journey of your organisation?
  • Do you share your ideas with your teams and management?
  • Do you have decision making responsibility?

Examples of Intellectual Leaders:


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