Kevin Fong - Organizational Design
  Working with Royalty

At one time or another, we have all worked with Royalty – self-proclaimed princes and princesses who believe they are more special, entitled and just plain better than everyone else, and they deserve special treatment.  We may have even fit the description ourselves at times.   Even one royal in an organization bring on a whole host of challenges.  Here are a few tips on how to deal with the royals in your life.

Some basic patterns can surface when the royalty challenge arises. These patterns depend upon a person’s leadership and communication style.  Drawing from my Five Elements of Organizational Success, people fall into five different categories – Visionary, Networker, Facilitator, Achiever, and Philosopher.  And when the inner prince or princess arises, they often manifest the shadow side of their leadership style. Here is how each royal shadow emerges -


Leadership Style   Shadow
Visionary becomes a…. Flake
Networker   Diva
Facilitator   Manipulator
Achiever   Dictator
Philosopher   Cynic

Visionaries, for example, are creative, motivating and inspiring.  But at their worst, they become Flakes. In my work, I help them redirect their approach by providing structure that focuses their creativity.  I also link their thinking back to the mission and purpose, as well as past lessons (what worked, what didn’t work).   Keeping things practical and realistic by focusing on the immediate next steps is another good solution.
Networkers are great communicators, connectors and spokespersons, but they can also be high-maintenance Divas.  What divas crave most is connection and intimacy.  I would take the diva aside, make eye contact and ask him to name two concrete next steps he can take right now to get back on his game.  By helping this kind of leader link talk with actions, I find it helps him to channel self-centered energy back to the organization’s needs.
The Facilitators are often the glue of organizations.  But when their shadow sides emerge, they can just as easily dismantle morale through rumors, games and manipulative tactics.  I have learned to support these leaders through establishing practices that acknowledge and appreciate the importance of their role. By implementing simple appreciations in to routine meetings, by paying attention to protocol, and by following through on commitments, the organization can play a key role in keeping its facilitative leaders on track.
Achievers turned Dictators are often driven by fear. They bark orders as a way of gaining control. One effective technique with a leader (and this one requires some courage) is direct and precise communication.  I advise people to speak in terms of action, outcomes and justified strategies.  Achievers appreciate people who can stand their ground and acknowledge limits.  In the short-term, these leaders may become short tempered, but in the long-term, you will gain their respect.
Finally, among the more powerful of the royals are the Cynics. These leaders, using the depth of the Philosopher, can take down teams with a single look or word.  Early identification of cynics is crucial so they don’t get placed in positions of power where forward motion and positive momentum are vital.  Thank them for their contribution and move on.  Cynics tend to dwell on the past, so if you keep the group focused on the present and future, you will override their influence.
Working with royalty is a reality in our lives that can be managed if we pay attention to the underlying leadership styles and responses.  Patters of royalty, whether fleeting or habitual, may compel you examine your organizational culture to see how to foster teams to work from their strengths instead of their shadows.

Interested in finding out what your teams leadership styles are?  Please contact me at   For more information on “The Five Elements of Organizational Success” click the following link: 
All of our previous Elemental News articles can be found at our website:  
© 2011 by Elemental Partners – All Rights Reserved
Elemental Partners distributes this article without charge.  All rights are reserved, and requests for copying and distribution of these works may be made to Invite your friends and families to subscribe to this bi-weekly e-newsletter by visiting our website:    


You are receiving this email because you are a friend and colleague of Kevin Fong.

Unsubscribe from this list | Forward to a friend | Update your profile
Our mailing address is
Elemental Partners
395 Eureka Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
Copyright (C) 2011 Kevin Fong - Organizational Design All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp