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Thread: Who "needs" leadership?

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    Default Who "needs" leadership?

    Who of you, or what types, feel that in general having a leader or someone who actively directs a group is important or desirable?

    I'm especially thinking of people who get uncomfortable when there is no clear leader in a formal or semi-formal group, like a club or a study group. I think it might be type related, but I want feedback from some of you.


    I feel my question here is a bit unclear, so ask me questions if you want to make me explain more. But I really want to know because I've run into a situation where this seems to be an issue and I'm considering how socionics may help or hurt.
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    If absolutely no leader pops up and it's something I like doing or that has to be done I'll step in, but I generally do my own thing and try to stay on the periphery if I can. This and I tend to avoid authority figures at all times. Well, that's not entirely true. I avoid hierarchical figures, even if they're nice, but if someone's a natural leader and is really casual about things I won't treat them like they have the plague.
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    I generally don't like them, but I equally dislike it when things get so out of control to the point where people aren't getting anything accomplished. Or immaturity and drama are taking over a situation.

    I don't mean "accomplishment" in some formal/business sense, but just in general. It could be a night out with friends, where no can decide on what to do, or a party where sheer idiocy takes over. Either I'll take the "lead" in that case or appreciate someone else who establishes some priorities. And then afterwards, pulling back again to the background.

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    It would depend on the kind of group or gathering.
    If we've gotten together with the intent of doing something, and noone wants to put forth a direction, then I'll usually step up and offer ideas for a direction. And if noone wants to make the decision, then my impatience to get going usually has me stepping up to make any decision...just so long as we get moving.

    The two introverts in my life now deliberately wait, knowing that i'm the more impatient one and will take over. lol
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    I don't think there has to be a leader but I usually, especially in a group, appreciate someone taking charge or directing things because I usually fill more secondary roles in the way of analyzing or making suggestions so if no one is filling the leader role then I just sit there (which I may do anyway if I don't care or have no input to offer). I usually feel that I will assume leadership if no one else will as a last resort (but even though I think this way, oddly I don't think I ever have because someone always seems to rise to the occasion first thankfully). Probably if there is no direction set to things I will lose interest and be involved as little as possible (and well actually that's what this is more about, that I rely on others to take the initiative to involve me because my default mode is to not have any involvement and escape group situations as soon as possible). I usually go for the least amount of social involvement in things that I possibly can. In any case I feel this pertains largely to my introversion. I feel that I don't care about participating in most things and that extroverts kind of make the world go around and if someone is actually directing things I may appreciate that they're doing it, or that someone has filled these shoes because it makes it easier to endure the situation. However I don't want to be inspired to be enthusiastic about group work and I hate that beyond belief. I just want the group work to end as soon as possible.

    But this also depends on what kind of group activity it is and whether I think it's even worthwhile and if I think the person who's directing it all is a moron or not (because if I do then I'll probably involve myself as little as possible). And usually I don't like group activities in general and haven't really felt like a voluntary participant in most of them (such as most group activities in school that I usually felt were a waste of time and ran contrary to the ways I learn best. It's mainly that things in group discussion proceed too quickly and I feel I haven't had enough time to think about everything so I just 'go through the motions' because it just isn't benefiting me). I often feel that group activities are a social charade, but this is probably only because I really don't get anything out of them usually.

    Oh that aside, I don't like being directed to do a series of pointless tasks at all. I really hate that and don't want to participate. I don't think that people should have to participate if they don't want to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by straytk View Post
    I generally don't like them, but I equally dislike it when things get so out of control to the point where people aren't getting anything accomplished. Or immaturity and drama are taking over a situation.

    I don't mean "accomplishment" in some formal/business sense, but just in general. It could be a night out with friends, where no can decide on what to do, or a party where sheer idiocy takes over. Either I'll take the "lead" in that case or appreciate someone else who establishes some priorities. And then afterwards, pulling back again to the background.
    That's sorta something I did recently as well.
    The so-called leaders of a group I'm part of were creating drama left and right, while at the same time complaining about the supposed drama that others were creating. (noone even knew anything was going on until the 'leader' created her drama posts)

    Anyways, I made a side post on my own profile, looking at the issues from different angles and offered various possible solutions..and asked for input. It got a discussion going towards resolutions, instead of adding to the drama and blames. Something I would have expected the 'leader' to have done herself.

    But in this particular case, it's not a group that is intended to accomplish anything, it's a social group. So I don't get why some people think there needs to be a leader at all. Why can't we all just do our own thing? Unfortunately, the group is split between those who expect there to be a leader ...and those who do their own thing. And this is usually what the drama is over, lol.
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    I'm more comfortable with a leader, but I have no problem at all taking on the role if it seems like I need to. I'd be a total hard ass though.

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    its been awhile since i've been in a situation where i can remember having a leader being optional. thinking back to group projects in school - i kind of liked having clearly defined roles where each person had certain tasks laid out from the beginning to keep things organized and my initial action when groups were assigned was to take the lead in trying to sort out some system of how things could be delineated. but i preferred more of a democracy when things got rolling. it bothered me when somebody wanted to nominate a leader. like i would think, "well, what exactly makes them qualified to decide how the rest of us do things?" keeping in mind this was in a class setting where we were all basically on equal footing most of the time. basically -- as long as i know what i have to do, i don't want to have to report to sommeone else about it. i like to have boundaries and context for what i should do, but after that i'd prefer to be responsible for myself.

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    In regards to the OP, I'd say I prefer a leader in practically everything where a group of people are involved. I also tend to prefer the leadership role in most situations too, unless I'm venturing into something new that I know nothing about, then I'd expect a leader to point me in the right direction.

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    I prefer to have individual work done rather than group work. So no, I'm not too fond of leaders. However, I do realize that group work becomes necessary, so in that case, I usually let anybody else be a leader. I have plenty of ideas but never verbalize them. All of the others argue amongst themselves. If my opinion is asked on the matter, I respond. Can't get it any other way. I will not speak over everyday and expect them to listen. Waste of breath, really.

    Ideally, any group work would be set up so that everyone knew exactly what they were going to do and there would be no need for any leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minde View Post
    Who of you, or what types, feel that in general having a leader or someone who actively directs a group is important or desirable?
    Not me.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    If absolutely no leader pops up and it's something I like doing or that has to be done I'll step in, but I generally do my own thing and try to stay on the periphery if I can. This and I tend to avoid authority figures at all times. Well, that's not entirely true. I avoid hierarchical figures, even if they're nice, but if someone's a natural leader and is really casual about things I won't treat them like they have the plague.
    Actually, this is right on the money for me, as well.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I prefer informal groups of self-directed capable persons where we all coherently agree on what the essential main points/directives should be, and each takes initiative to pursue the desired ends laissez-faire without having to be commanded and instructed much.
    If i have to be in a leadership position, this is actually my leadership style as well.

    Probably my biggest expectation is excellent communication, on EVERYTHING that's happening. Another huge expectation I have of my minions is collegiality and commitment to our goal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    If absolutely no leader pops up and it's something I like doing or that has to be done I'll step in, but I generally do my own thing and try to stay on the periphery if I can. This and I tend to avoid authority figures at all times. Well, that's not entirely true. I avoid hierarchical figures, even if they're nice, but if someone's a natural leader and is really casual about things I won't treat them like they have the plague.
    Quote Originally Posted by Parkster View Post
    Actually, this is right on the money for me, as well.
    Me too, including the avoidance of authority figures, even if i revere them deeply. Actually, the more i revere them, the more I'll try to avoid them.
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    Hello WA. How alone are you today? On a scale from 1 to 5?
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    "Needs"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeSeeCold View Post
    "Needs"?
    Yes. Some people are that stupid, and/or incompetent.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    I prefer informal groups of self-directed capable persons where we all coherently agree on what the essential main points/directives should be, and each takes initiative to pursue the desired ends laissez-faire without having to be commanded and instructed much.
    Quote Originally Posted by nil View Post
    Ideally, any group work would be set up so that everyone knew exactly what they were going to do and there would be no need for any leader.
    Those are ideals for me, as well.

    I tend to see leaders as *useful* but not always inherently necessary.


    Quote Originally Posted by laghlagh View Post
    its been awhile since i've been in a situation where i can remember having a leader being optional. thinking back to group projects in school - i kind of liked having clearly defined roles where each person had certain tasks laid out from the beginning to keep things organized and my initial action when groups were assigned was to take the lead in trying to sort out some system of how things could be delineated. but i preferred more of a democracy when things got rolling. it bothered me when somebody wanted to nominate a leader. like i would think, "well, what exactly makes them qualified to decide how the rest of us do things?" keeping in mind this was in a class setting where we were all basically on equal footing most of the time. basically -- as long as i know what i have to do, i don't want to have to report to sommeone else about it. i like to have boundaries and context for what i should do, but after that i'd prefer to be responsible for myself.
    I can relate to that, especially the first part and if it's a task-oriented group. Recently I had to push for clarity of roles within a work group because the ambiguity kept me from knowing what I needed to do so I could do it. Having a leader helped in that situation. Or, rather, having a central facilitator and communicator helped.

    Quote Originally Posted by cracka View Post
    In regards to the OP, I'd say I prefer a leader in practically everything where a group of people are involved. I also tend to prefer the leadership role in most situations too, unless I'm venturing into something new that I know nothing about, then I'd expect a leader to point me in the right direction.
    I would have guessed that, yes. Good, I am finding some consistency, so maybe I can guild a pattern...

    Quote Originally Posted by EyeSeeCold View Post
    "Needs"?
    Yeah, that isn't quite the right word, but I needed something short. Another way to look at it: Some people appear to just assume by default that a collection of individuals is a unit that needs guidance, whereas others tend to assume by default that a collection of individuals can have different roles that may or may not include a "leader".

    Or, some people simply feel more comfortable when there is someone who can embody the desired goals and direction.


    It's still too early for any real theorizing, for me, but I'm guessing that the desire for a leader shows up more in dynamics (Ejs/Ips, caregivers/victims) because they tend to have natural responsiveness to having someone express goals/wants. Another potential section of the types that might feel best with some sort of leader are Ti/Fe types and possibly Ni/Se types. The former for the sake of practical hiearchy (yes, I know, usage of stereotypes here...), the latter for the sake of achieving a goal.


    So, my guess as to the types' feelings toward leadership:

    Alpha -

    ESFj: Really feels most comfortable when there's some sort of leader saying what we all should be doing. May or may not desire to be a leader themselves, and are probably just fine if someone else wants to do it, unless they really mess up.

    INTj: I can definitely see them liking to boss people around, and have their own vision for how things should be done. They may or may not be "pushy" about it, but if you ask them the right way they'll be able to provide goals.

    ISFp: Probably similar to ESFj, maybe less likely to want the role of leader. But they'll feel more comfortable when there is one.

    ENTp: Yeah, they're fine being leaders, or at least telling people what to do. They'll instigate to get things where they want.


    Beta -

    ESTp: Will assume leadership is needed, and likely that whoever is currently doing it needs replacing. By themselves.

    INFp: Independent, might put up fusses, might withdraw, but underlying it all is a (perhaps largely unconscious) assumption that leadership is needed in most instances. They might feel uncomfortable with too many people just bumbling around doing their own thing.

    ENFj: Another natural vision-maker. They'll definitely have ideas on where to go and why. They might be shy in their own ways, but they do tend to crave the system of someone in front pulling.

    ISTj: Can be leaders, but can also let other people do it, provided said leaders jive with their own ideas.


    Gamma -

    ENTj: Will likely be highly independent and perhaps even get "allergic" to groups. They might, nonetheless, find themselves as leaders of groups who admire them.

    ISFj: Can lead, can follow; may not care if there is a particular leader. They probably like if someone has a vision and expresses it.

    ESFp: Probably of all Gammas the most likely to assume there should be some sort of leader, and probably the most likely to be comfortable in that position. But it still won't be hugely important or throw them off too much if there is no leader. They'll just start doing their own thing and bringing others with them.

    INTp - Similar to ENTj, except perhaps more caustic. But, also, perhaps more likely to actually follow an individual, not for the sake of the group but for the sake of the individual.


    Delta -

    ESTj: Of all the Deltas, perhaps the most likely to feel the need for a system of leadership. Similar to ESFj, except they can be more independent, too, and less group oriented. In some situations they'll be more comfortable leading ("directing"), but in others they'll be more comfortable following the desires of another.

    INFj: Doesn't assume a need for leadership per se, and will prefer to stay somewhat to the side. However, if need arises, will momentarily take on whatever leadership role is required. They will often wait a little, though, to see if someone else will do it first.

    ENFp: Similar to INFj, but much more proactive. They'll feel the delay more keenly and push for changes harder. Probably the most likely to end up a leader/facilitator, because of their ideas as well as initiative.

    ISTp: They are their own boss. If your idea is good, they might consider it.




    These are just musing, and I could be wrong about all of it. And I'm definitely simplifying things quite a bit; it's more complex than I'm giving it credit.
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    People who "want" a leader seem to be those who feel a pressure to get somewhere and/or to follow the direction of someone else (responsibility issues).

    A lot of people seem to be able to float around aimlessly.

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    I think the LSE remark is true for E1s and E6s (probably especially E1s). And maybe even most LSEs in general, hm.
    Following the desires of others, yes, is also probably very relevant, especially for a generic situation. I think LSEs would be less inclined to "lead" something or go somewhere if they felt they had no support or the will of someone else to do it, especially initially.

    Regrettably... Out of all the quadra, I think LSEs have the biggest potential to be a 'tool'



    FWIW
    I don't feel a need for a system of leadership at all, I just feel a drive to make things happen, regardless of rules (particularly if I think people are being cumbersome with 'regulations'). I would support "systems" if I think it's going to become something routine that basically needs to become 'institutionalized', but that is more for mechanical processes rather than leading.

    It is easy to default to the wants of others, but, I also have major issues with doing it - it's something I might do for people I like, but too much of it and I react really negatively.

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    I've been in a lot of various kinds of social groups and prefer there to be a leader. What has worked best for me:

    1. The leader is a final referee. The leader lets everyone in the group take ownership and feel like they are in charge of sorting out their own messes and feelings ... unless they WANT intervention and support or show signs of distress or go too far in some way (causing too many problems for the group). The leader lets people follow their own inclinations, but ultimately corrects something if the group does not self-correct somehow. The leader can appear to be following the group, in a way, but in a shepherd role--give and take. Keeping an eye on things.

    2. The leader offers his neck. That is to say, if things get intense, bad, shitty, the leader is someone that other group members can pass problems to. The leader has to solve the problem, or empowers the group member to solve the problem but with the understanding that if the solution doesn't work or has unforeseen side effects, now he is taking responsibility for it, so the member is not stranded--now the member has backup for what s/he needs or wants to do. If things go to hell, the leader accepts responsibility for that.

    Stuff like that.

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    I think it's useful to have someone who brings me on the right track in projects and reminds me of the actual goal which should be reached. I have no problem to subordinate if my boss is someone who is more competent in the necessary areas than me. But I think it would be difficult to obey the "orders" of someone whose abilities don't seem to be sufficient or methods don't make sense to me.
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    leadership by example > explicit leadership

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    I don't need one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minde View Post
    Yeah, that isn't quite the right word, but I needed something short. Another way to look at it: Some people appear to just assume by default that a collection of individuals is a unit that needs guidance, whereas others tend to assume by default that a collection of individuals can have different roles that may or may not include a "leader".
    Based on my studies (yes, I've studied leadership) and experiences, a lot of it has to do with their own perception of what 'leadership' is and how they see themselves as affecting it.

    You're probably familiar with "trait theories" of leadership - sort of old school (sort of MBTI-esque) traits of people, being Tall, having Charisma, etc... and that's sort of at play.

    But I think a lot of it has to do with how people perceive working with others.

    Or, some people simply feel more comfortable when there is someone who can embody the desired goals and direction.
    I think a lot of people sort of inherently feel more comfortable when there is someone 'leading the way', or responsible for success, other than themselves. A hero to praise, or blame if thongs go wrong. It's definitely a part of human nature, to an extent.


    It's still too early for any real theorizing, for me, but I'm guessing that the desire for a leader shows up more in dynamics (Ejs/Ips, caregivers/victims) because they tend to have natural responsiveness to having someone express goals/wants. Another potential section of the types that might feel best with some sort of leader are Ti/Fe types and possibly Ni/Se types. The former for the sake of practical hiearchy (yes, I know, usage of stereotypes here...), the latter for the sake of achieving a goal.
    Sure. You could come up with any number of reasons for it, based on functional alignment -- EJs might feel responsible because they like to "direct reality", or what have you. I don't think that any one socionics designation has an inherent gravity or inclination towards "being the leader" or even wanting there to be a leader.

    But I do think you'll find some perhaps loosely categorical clusters of how people feel about the concept of 'leadership', but I suspect it has just as much if not more to do with feelings about belonging to a group and the cohesive or directive aspects of what it means to 'belong' to that group, rather than purely a matter of "taking the lead".


    So, my guess as to the types' feelings toward leadership:
    That's a pretty good list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minde View Post
    I can relate to that, especially the first part and if it's a task-oriented group. Recently I had to push for clarity of roles within a work group because the ambiguity kept me from knowing what I needed to do so I could do it. Having a leader helped in that situation. Or, rather, having a central facilitator and communicator helped.
    Does that mean you found it 'useful' to have a leader, or does it mean that you felt like you 'needed' a leader?

    And, in your push for goals, did you push to be the leader, or did you push for someone else to be the leader? What part did you see yourself as having in the process of making happen whatever you wanted to have happen?

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    When no leader exists, chaos persists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typhon View Post
    When no leader exists, chaos persists.
    Time for stupid police to intervene.

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    I prefer to work in environments with clear structural hierarchies, yes. And that preference increases in strength as number of people involved in the project increases, so yes, I suppose if the act or organization involved an infinite number of people, the preference could eventually expand to something that one might call a need, yes.

    I complain about pushy leaders. I dislike people who push me around. But I do like it when there are people who are in charge. It's more like... I can't work for people I disagree with, so I'd rather work for no one than work for someone who pisses me off. But I'd rather work for someone than work for myself, or work in a loose collective with no clear director, no decision maker.

    And if I am the decision maker, I need it to be very clear that I am such. Otherwise I would abdicate responsibility or resort to unpleasant subterfuge-y things, and I just don't like being a subterfuge-y person. It squicks me. So yeah. Clear structure = good. But once you have that, your leader doesn't have to scream and yell all the time. He or she just has to lead, lol.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

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    I prefer there to be no clear leader.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MegaDoomer View Post
    I think it's useful to have someone who brings me on the right track in projects and reminds me of the actual goal which should be reached. I have no problem to subordinate if my boss is someone who is more competent in the necessary areas than me. But I think it would be difficult to obey the "orders" of someone whose abilities don't seem to be sufficient or methods don't make sense to me.
    FWIW, I think there's a huge difference in being a boss/manager than a leader. I've always thought of myself as a great leader in almost everything I do, but I've also thought I'd be a pretty crappy boss/manager if I were put into the situation. I've interviewed for a couple manager jobs over the years and looking back, I'm quite happy that I didn't get them. I know I'd be a micromanager and would probably just turn into a piece of shit if things weren't getting done the way I'd want them to.

    From my work perspective... As a leader, I'm part of the group getting things done that the manager needs to have done... I actually have input as to what my team does and being the leader, the team would most likely follow. Not because I'm barking orders, but because I'm a filter for what the group should and should not do. Focusing on the critical few elements that need to get done, and then working on the "small stuff" when we can get to it.

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    I think a big distinction to make is between a formal leader and an informal leader.

    I think very few people like the idea of having formal leaders in most circumstances (authorities), but I think your stupid if you don't like the idea of informal leadership, in almost all situations where groups are working together informal leaders emerge organically. I don't think there is anything wrong in essence with leadership, I think the problem is in having rigid structured leadership where these people are "the leaders" and these people are "the subordinates".

    That being said I don't mind certain circumstances where there are clear leaders, but I have trouble listening to someone I disrespect, any little flaw I sense in them hurts their credibility greatly. I'd much rather prefer to be lead by someone I respect and that I willingly choose to follow and that I think is more competent than I, I especially like to learn from these individuals.

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    I see leadership as a factor of collection. The leader is the person who gets people together and does the work necessary to keep them together. The leader smooths out disagreements and finds a path and a way that everyone in the group can agree with.

    It is also widely understood that leaders want power, by which they can control who is in the group. This way they can direct the group against the obstacles to its aims.

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    Disclaimer: I've not yet decided "my type".

    I feel no desire whatsoever for a clearly defined leader outside of a situation in which I specifically ask for guidance. To be honest I find people who impose themselves as leaders, even in a casual group, to be annoying. I would much rather see someone "leading" by inspiring example or by being an idea generator, rather than insisting - subtly or otherwise - that they hold some sort of right to lead.

    As for social hierarchy in general, it is a joke. If everyone who desired to elevate themselves above others in the various common social systems were summarily executed, the world would undoubtedly be one step closer to a more pleasant place. I don't often blatantly oppose such hierarchy in my everyday actions but always harbor this secret desire to rid the world of it by any means necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valori View Post
    As for social hierarchy in general, it is a joke. If everyone who desired to elevate themselves above others in the various common social systems were summarily executed, the world would undoubtedly be one step closer to a more pleasant place. I don't often blatantly oppose such hierarchy in my everyday actions but always harbor this secret desire to rid the world of it by any means necessary.
    Are you suggesting we destroy everyone but IPs? Sounds like a plan.

    We can keep ESTps and ESFps though. Maybe a couple of INFs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeSeeCold View Post
    Are you suggesting we destroy everyone but IPs? Sounds like a plan.

    We can keep ESTps and ESFps though. Maybe a couple of INFs.


    Wait a minute...


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    Hmm is this thread about leadership? I'm not much of a leader or good at telling people what to do since I find that I like the solutions I come up with because they're creative and a bit 'out there', but no one else likes them. I'm too impractical and into ideas and theory when someone needs a plan or simple solution. So I'm used to keeping ideas to myself, and like always have high priority being an individual. I also don't really care for there being a leader--if there is a leader I try to mostly ignore him and do as little as possible, and just follow the instructions that make sense to me so I don't get in trouble.

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    I'd say Ij and Ej types would be comfortable with structure and a leader. People sometimes have this perception that having a leader means that they are in a submissive position, and the leader has the "power." That's not my understanding of it. Obviously, there are people who will misuse their position, and then I start disliking them for it. I'm both comfortable being a leader, or being led by someone (with respect), in a group. It's sometimes the more efficient way of handling a task, to have some kind of structure, and a leader who ultimately makes the decisions when everyone is in disagreement. Once you put your pride and feelings aside, and objectively look at how things actually get done by having a group hierarchy, you start realizing the benefits of having that kind of structure in a group.

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