Everything you need to know about an Individualist

The Individualist leader

Individualists march to the beat of their own drum and are always up for a challenge. So how exactly do they lead their teams to victory?

As a leader, Individualists can sometimes be broadly focused on their own goals; a conceptualizer who takes time pursuing innovative, creative solutions to problems. This can cause a reluctance for delegation. They can often be a technically-oriented problem solver, focusing on solving difficult problems or developing complex ideas rather than the social or “political” aspects of an organization.

Below is a list of strengths and cautions when an Individualist is in a management role.

Leading strengths
  • Creative
  • Persistent
  • Patient
Leading cautions
  • May struggle with delegating tasks
  • Very direct communication
  • Expectations of team that might not reflect their behaviors

But it’s not just about knowing how you lead; you also should be aware of the individuals you manage and the Team Type they form. This allows you to tailor your leadership strategies based on the people you’re actually managing—and use your strengths as an Individualist to your advantage.

Let’s say you’re an Individualist who’s managing a Producing Team. Being an Individualist, there is a chance you might be in the quadrant directly opposite of this team, like the example picture to the right, which means you’ll generally have competing values. Don’t panic! Different personalities don’t innately lead to failure. Understanding this difference in opinions, however, is a crucial step.

Take a look below at some points of friction to be aware of. Use these to learn how you can use your strengths to lead a team that doesn’t directly align with your Reference Profile.

Leading a Producing Team as an Individualist

When an Individualist is leading a Producing Team, they may struggle to adapt to the team’s structured approach. You may encounter areas of friction, but there are ways you can help your people stretch their behavioral drives and make the team feel like magic.



The Producing Team’s preference for rules and concern for avoiding risk may clash with an Individualist’s drive for change. The leader may become frustrated that the team is not open enough to some of their more unorthodox ideas.

An Individualist’s desire to lead the charge can clash with the Producing Team’s desire to work independently. It can be frustrating for team members if they feel they’re being forced into decisions that they don’t agree with.

Individualists can often struggle with too much structure or direction. Yet Producing Teams are experts at defining a process to ensure predictability. Rather than competing over how each should work, Individualists can focus on the bigger picture to create innovative solutions while the team helps bring those that can realistically work on the details to bring ideas to fruition.

Producing Teams may find that they are highly prone to conflict due to their competitive nature. Yet Individualists tend to enjoy both individual and team based work. An Individualist can help Producing Teams work on fostering more positive relationships among team members.

Based on the benefits and areas of friction that can arise when having a differently aligned team, come up with strategies that will help you lean into your strengths. For example, Your team’s passion for competition can cause concerns if not managed properly. Try to have people work in groups when possible, and switch up the composition of those groups so certain people don’t always work opposite one another.

So, we understand who we are, where we fit into a team, and how we can lead other teams as an Individualist. When it comes to leading, though, there is much more to consider. You also need to think about what Strategy Type your team needs to accomplish its goals.

Do you feel prepared to make sure your team feels like magic rather than causing constant friction? Want to learn more? Check out our two workshops around building and cultivating teams that work like a dream.

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