Pragmatic Leadership and Idealist Leadership

Pragmatic leaders focus on the practical, “how do we get this done,” side of any task, initiative or goal. They can erroneously be viewed as negative in their approach when in fact they simply view the entire picture (roadblocks included) to get to the end result. It’s a linear, practical way of thinking and “doing.”

Idealist leaders focus on the visionary, big ideas. It could be argued that they focus more on the end result than the path to get there, and they can erroneously be viewed as looking through rose-colored glasses when, in fact, they simply “see” the end goal and truly believe there is a way to get there.

Which is better — a pragmatic, realistic leader or an idealistic, visionary leader?

In reality, they’re both essential to building a strong team. In other words, the best teams include pragmatic and idealist employees from the top down, because pragmatic thinking and idealist thinking are not traits held just by leaders.

Therefore, by mixing these different ways of thinking and working, a team will be well-balanced and ultimately capable of creating the best outputs. However, it’s important for the team’s leader to understand those differences in thinking, and work to make the team members blend cohesively. No one way is the right way, but together they can make a powerful team.

Summing-up: Which are you — a pragmatic leader (or employee) or an idealistic leader (or employee)? Or do you think you’re one of the rare few who can maintain an internal balance between the two ways of thinking and working?

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