We all tend to fit one of seven types of change leader, each of which indicates a different mix of leading with Head, Heart, or Hands. The third change leader type is the Executer; she’s all about leading with the Hands.

Chang leaders with an Executer style are, above all, task focused. They enjoy providing helpful technical information, and they make exceptional project managers. They do their homework, push others to set high performance standards, and use resources wisely. Most people see Executers as reliable, although at times they may get bogged down in details and data. Executers also neglect the big picture at times and are prone to overlooking the need for positive team dynamics.

If you’re an Executer, you are focused on the process of change. You pay attention to project planning, and you lay out the time frames and resources necessary to accomplish objectives during the change process. You’re dependable, systematic, and efficient. Yet you may fall prey to a change-by-checklist approach, doing things “right” but not necessarily doing the right things. You may benefit from making time to look at the forest, not just the trees. You want to make sure you’re working toward the end goal of a change project, not just hitting immediate tactical objectives. You’ll also benefit from paying attention to the people along with the process, and making an effort to engage those around you.

Your strengths as an Executor are that you usually:

  • Excel at project planning and execution
  • Accomplish your accountabilities in a timely and efficient manner
  • Can be depended on to do what is asked of you
  • Freely share all the information and materials you have and make sure others have the training, tools, and resources they need to perform their tasks
  • Push the team to set high performance standards

However, as an Executor, you may also have the tendency to:

  • Lose sight of the big picture—the goal of the change process or the charter of the change team
  • Lack patience with people and process issues
  • Push for unrealistic performance standards
  • Become impatient with other team members who do not live up to your standards
  • Go into data overload, providing too much detailed information, writing reports that are too long, and offering long-winded explanations

Although your strengths mean that you are often seen as a dependable, efficient, and meticulous planner, your systematic planning may cause you to be viewed as shortsighted, data-bound, or simply too cautious. When you have a full understanding of these facets of your leadership style, you can go about maximizing the good and minimizing the weak spots.