Managerial Roles

Bijgewerkt: 8 mrt 2019


We focus on holistic change. Since all parts of an organisation are interrelated to each other. Within that approach people are the most important asset. That's why we believe that influencing behaviour is the most important thing to do to create sustainable change.

Being able to recognise the various types of behaviour helps you to tune the change programs you are in. Understanding the individual manager is important, understanding a management team and their behaviour as a group is even more important.

In that respect there are various models you could use like MBTI, Belbin, Mintzberg, Spiral Dynamics, Management Drives, and others. Most of these models have in common that they use a deeper psychological layer to explain the behaviour shown. This requires some study and/ or filling out questionnaires.

This is a sensible thing to do, but complicates the observation.


We were wondering if we could come up with a more down to earth, easy to understand, model, given the managers we encountered in the last 10 years.

In our search we described a number of managers in natural language. Then we depicted their strengths and weaknesses. Then we puzzled a while and came up with a really simple straight forward model as shown above. The model shows three pairs of 'forces'. These forces are explained below.


Philosopher versus Connector

  • The Philosopher is focussed on content. Getting results on the short term is less important. For this manager it's the long term that counts.

  • The Connector is focussed on relationship. The connector has a natural behaviour to connect with people.

Survivor versus Warrior

  • The Survivor is focussed on survival in the political arena. Does not make decisions unless 'forced' to do so. Specialist in following the political flow in the organisation. High organisational sensitivity.

  • The Warrior has courage and fights for a cause. Having a good relation with the other is less important.

Controller versus Coach

  • The Controller wants to be in control. It's hard to delegate for the controller. That's why Controllers tends to be pretty busy, since they have to know it all to be in control.

  • The Coach gives trust to people. Tries to get the most out of people by coaching. For a coach it's hard to really manage people as it comes down to getting results.

Now, what's your position in this grid? What's the position of your colleagues? In our opinion a successful team should encompass all forces. How does your team match?