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CEO or Czar: Which Leader Are You?

Are you heavy-handed, autocratic and part of the chain-of-command mindset? Do you relish absolute power?

CEOs in Technology on Ulitzer

The "C" word is getting a lot of press these days (you WERE thinking CEO, weren't you?).

It seems that every time someone gets appointed to a government post, they get the title "czar." There are so many of these little crazy Ivans running around in Washington that Senator McCain said Obama has, "more Czars than the Romanovs."

We have a drug czar, an energy czar, a border czar, a climate czar, a czar for this and a czar for that. In a Wall Street Journal article, Laura Meckler once wrote about the rising ascension of czars in the White House.

And it's not just in the US. The United Kingdom has it share of little Ivans, with drug czars, and according to Business Week, the UK has appointed its first "Twitter Czar!" God help us all! (It's OK to say that...I'm under 140 characters).

The question is, what is a czar, and as a leader, do you want to be one?

According to history, a czar is a despot, an emperor or monarch (tsar is a variation, but we don't use that one much for our leaders; pronouncing the "ts" sounds a bit sibilant and not "manly" enough. Czar's connotation is absolute power, heavy-handed despot: think Ivan the Terrible or the ill-fated Czar Nicholas. We can even think Despotic Queen of Hearts from Alice.

So when your employees think of your leadership style, do they think czar? Are you heavy-handed, autocratic and part of the chain-of-command mindset? Do you relish absolute power? Or is your style open to listening and accessible? Do you delegate and share the power? Think collaboration and you've got a great "C" word to apply to your leadership style.

There are a lot of "C" words employees could use to describe your approach to leadership, but czar should not be one of them.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Loraine Antrim

Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com

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