Leaders in general have a mix of traits, but most are ruled by two dominate mindsets. Maideque and Hiller describe six basic mindsets that capture how a leader rules by who they choose to serve. The six mindsets include the sociopath, who serves no one. The egoist who pursues self-interest. The chameleon who serves anyone. The dynamo who is goal oriented and sometimes singular in their pursuit. The builder who is always focused on the institution and the transcender, who serves society at large. The beauty is that as leaders we may eb and flow between these mindsets depending on the situation but identifying them help us determine not just who we are but who we want to be.


I myself tend to swing between being a chameleon and a dynamo. While I’m usually a doer, focused with motivation and mission I also am a people pleaser. This innate desire to serve multiple groups can be difficult. When combined with my dynamo side, I often overcommit and take on more than I should. On the flip side, these traits are incredibly powerful. My ability to empathize with a variety of interests paired with the skills to move among different groups can be incredibly fruitful. It’s no surprise that I work in public relations, where these mindsets are needed and rewarded.


Maidique, M.A., & Hiller, N.J. (2018). The Mindsets OF a Leader. MIT Sloan Management Review. 59(4), 76-81.