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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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What is your Self-awareness score?
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I often reflect on my thoughts

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I do not often think about the way I am feeling

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I enjoy exploring my “inner self"

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I often reflect on my feelings

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

Others would benefit from reflecting more on their thoughts

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I am interested in analysing the behaviour of others

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I value opportunities to evaluate my behaviour

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

It is important to understand why people behave in the way they do

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

When I’m feeling uncomfortable, I can easily name these feelings

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I usually know why I am feeling the way I do

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I am often on auto-pilot and do not pay much attention to what I am doing

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

Sometimes I am careless because I am preoccupied, with many things on my mind

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I often dwell on the past or the future, rather than the present

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

My mind often wanders when I am trying to concentrate

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I often find myself thinking about how to solve past negative events

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

When things go wrong, I often think about them constructively for long periods of time

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

I tend not to look back and think about how I could have done things better

< Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree >

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