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Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
By Malcolm Gladwell
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Welcome back.

The Seven Ways [“Action Logics”] of Leadership

  • The Opportunist –wins any way possible
  • The Diplomat –avoids overt conflict
  • The Expert –rules by logic and experience
  • The Achiever–meets strategic goals
  • The Individualist–Interweaves competing personal and company action logics
  • The Strategist
  • The Alchemist

The Individualist is characterized by the ability to create “unique structures to resolve gaps between strategy and performance.” Their strength is effectiveness in “venture and consulting roles.” This action logic appeared in 10% of the sample. The Individualist understands that action logics are not natural, according to the HBR. The individualist knows our action logics are constructs.

Our action logics are not genetic but invented and those leaders with these action logics know this. We are taught, or adopt certain behaviors or beliefs about who we are and how we go about things. These “constructs” are not fixed in our nature. They can be tweaked or changed. The Individualist is then able to “put personalities and ways of relating into perspective and communicate well with people who have other action logics.”

The differ from achievers in that their “awareness of a possible conflict between their principles and their actions, or between the organization’s values and its implementation of those values. This conflict becomes a source of tension, creativity, and a growing desire for further development.”

What do you think?

  • How able are we [are you] of changing how we interpret and react to our context when challenged?
  • How able is that challenging leader you work with [or for] to change?
  • What would need to happen in us for us to significantly adjust or change who we are as leaders?
  • What are examples from scripture of leaders who evolved from one style of leadership to another?How did this happen?


One of our cadre of leaders is my new friend, James Petticrew, from Scotland. His grandfather lived in Los Angeles sometime around WW1 (1917). I believe these pics are from around the area where he would have lived, James. I took a shot in each direction. 804 Temple Street would be just to the left of the green bar and grill across the street that is now a parking lot. The large gold structure in one of the pics is the new 50 million dollar Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church. I lived walking distance from this corner for six years until two weeks ago. James, for some reason I couldn’t upload all the pics I just described so I’ll have some more in Tuesdays blog as well.

Coming Up

The most important part of our conversation is how to actually grow as a leader. How do we evolve in our action logic? How can we stand up and be who in the center of our hearts we know we are called to be. After the Strategist and the Alchemist we’ll dive into this discussion.

By the way, It was 65 degrees Fahrenheit today in Los Angeles and sunny. The humidity was around 52% and the winds were negligible. In other words, a perfect day…again.

Into the Mystic…

Alex McManus
Los Angeles, Ca
© 2005


One response to “The Individualist”

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