We’re discussing how to build your leadership like an architect builds a home. There are specific steps you should take: choose the location, select a style and finally, create the blueprint. Last time, we covered how to select a location. Next time, we will cover designing the structure. Today though, we dig into selecting the style of structure.

There are countless architectural styles, as there are leadership styles. To narrow our focus, in both architecture and leadership, we pick broad categories to use as guide posts:

Rustic Cabin

The timeless, rustic cabin presents a feeling of comfort, familiarity and shelter. Yet it is often found withstanding the harshest environments. The rustic cabin leader is friend to those they serve and the toughest barrier to the opposition. Herb Kelleher is an outstanding example of this leadership and structural style.

Rustic Cabin - CC License - David Sky - http://www.seemsartless.com/index.php?pic=1355

CC License, courtesy David Sky

Traditional House

The single-family home that proliferates most of modern America, focuses on family values, moderation and consistency. Tony Dungy used these principles and his Faith to achieve victory in one of the toughest professional sports championships.

New Orleans Home - CC License - http://www.flickr.com/photos/neworleanslady/

CC License, courtesy New Orleans Lady


The apartment is function over form. It is a location for living that puts the person as close as possible to all the action. Apartment leaders do the same: “the ends justify the means”, numbers equate to results and they don’t want to be bothered about soft skills. Jack Welch is a symbolic apartment leader.

Apartment Complex - CC License - http://www.arch-hiroshima.net/arch-hiroshima/arch/delta_others/te_apartment_e.html

CC License, courtesy arch-hiroshima


Exotic structures like the creations of Frank Lloyd Wright, are more about form than function. These leaders are less detail-oriented, drive a lot of press and often achieve celebrity status. Steve Jobs was a classic example of the exotic structure in leadership.

Exotic Home Architecture - CC License by http://www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/

CC License, courtesy SeeMidTN.com

So which architectural style represents the type of leadership you desire to reflect? Whatever the style, make sure you find the right location in which to practice your leadership, as we covered last week. Then, with the right location and structure style, you can create the blueprint. But, that is for next time!

Question: What other key leadership styles would you consider?