St. Thomas More was called the "Man for All Seasons" and most of the Business Schools seems to believe that there is one type of LEADERSHIP SKILLS for all situations. I believe it is clear that leaders are not all the same.

        In my book: "Risktaker, Caretaker, Surgeon, Undertaker" I describe how SUCCESSFUL Strategic Leaders must fit where the business is on the Life Cycle and the "Competitive Differentiators" being used. 


  • Risktakers are needed in the early stage of the  businessn life cycle.
  • Caretaker when the best needs more organization and stability, the slow growing stage of the cycle
  • Surgeons when the market has STOPPED GROWING, entering MATURITY and needs the surgeon leader who can systematically focus on WINNERS and discard LOSERS
  • Undertakers when the game is over and needs someone to separate potential winners who can be sold off and those with terminal illness and need MERCY KILLINGS

STRATEGIC DIFFERENTIATORS In additon, leaders must have the skills to implement the strategic differentiators that are being used to create a Competitive Advantages. These are the key differentiators:

  • Innovative, revolutionary products or services..
  • Marketing and Sales innovations and approaches
  • Production creativity
  • Financial power and techniques

Each of these require different skills both for the leader and his or her team. If you want to learn more about the four types of strategic leaders and how they are impacted by the life cycle and differentiators, read my book: Risktaker, Caretaker, Surgeon and Undertakers- the four faces of strategic leadership". Click here to see the table of contents.