What Your Colour Choice is Saying About Your Leadership Qualities

As a leader, you want to lead your employees in the right direction so they, and you, are as successful as possible in every task. But what type of leader are you? When you walk into the boardroom in a sharp black business suit, are you sporting a red tie or a green one? When you sit down interview new employees for an open position within the company, are you wearing a white shirt with gold stripes beneath or business suit or orange stripes?

The many differences between types of leaders is extremely distinct, and although some may fall into more than one category, there is always a dominant colour that wins out. Let’s talk a little about those colours and what they mean when it comes to your leadership qualities in the workplace= as well as how it can affect the way you dress.

Green Leaders:

Key features:

  • Loner
  • Up to any task
  • Works best with gold leaders

A green leader is a do-it-yourselfer. He’d much rather spend late nights in the office taking care of a specific task himself than trusting others to do it for him. He has high standards, which most can’t meet. He doesn’t feel comfortable, therefore, putting others in charge of crucial tasks. Because of this, he’ll most likely delegate busy work to the employees under him.

Emotional situations are not a green leader’s cup of tea. They often avoid confrontation, mostly because they are afraid someone might cry. However, they are readily available to take on any tasks assigned to them and are very dependable. Their motivation is often the admiration of others.

Dress Style:

It’s common to see green leaders in brown men’s suits and earth-tone colours, as well as greens. While they have command over their team, these chosen colours give them the ability to blend into the background and do what they do best: focus their energy on the project in front of them.

Gold Leaders:

Key Qualities:

  • Extremely professional
  • Incredibly organized
  • Doesn’t need much recognition

A gold leader is probably one of the most common types of leaders. Though they have some flaws, they typically bring good leadership qualities to an office. They are dependable and always early to arrive to the office. They are professional, and they make sure each of their team members is just as professional during business hours.

Gold leaders are extremely organized. They delegate tasks to the people on their team fairly, set up agendas for meetings and always turn in project reports on time. Their one downside is that they appear so professional that some employees may not feel comfortable talking to them about specific issues they might be having in the office.

Gold leaders don’t require the recognition of green leaders. They just want their entire team to be successful.

Dress Style:

Always the professional, the typical dress style of the gold leader includes navy and black suits. You’ll often see them in starch white dress shirts. Power red ties are typical. They may occasionally have a bit of fun by wearing a different type of patterned or coloured tie. In most cases, however, their attire is extremely conservative.

Orange Leaders:

Key Qualities:

  • Engaging
  • Inspirational
  • Motivated by fun

Orange leaders are built to have fun and inspire others to be their best. They focus on developing relationships with their employees and making each day memorable. For many workers, this type of employer gives them purpose.

Orange leaders excel at investing in people and encouraging them to take action. This makes them extremely successful in sales and advertising. As a leader, they aren’t very organized and may have trouble interacting with green and gold leaders.

Dress Style:

The confidence of an orange leader shows up in their wardrobe in the form of colour and patterns. While still professional, they aren’t afraid to add a few pops of colour you might not expect under their navy, black or brown suits.

Blue Leaders:

Key Qualities:

  • Focuses on people
  • Helpful with decision making
  • Questioning

Blue leaders are necessary for the workplace because they help make sure everyone is involved in decisions and that issues are resolved quickly. They help come up with ideas to create systems and processes that help companies succeed. As an operational-type leader, they also implement those systems to help create a culture that is beneficial for both the company and the employees.

Blue leaders often have trouble interacting with green leaders, who need no help making decisions. They also require frequent praise, especially in front of others. Employees are likely to feel comfortable coming to blue leaders with issues they may have with the team or office, though, which helps reaffirm the leader’s sense of purpose.

These types of leaders are always curious and always asking questions. They want to make the workplace a better place and aren’t afraid to stick up for their employees and say something.

Dress Style:

Different shades of blue are the colours of choice for blue leaders. It’s not uncommon to see them in brown men’s suits or tweed jackets, however. These colours help psychologically project their need and want to help others.

What Else You Should Know

While every colour features different leadership qualities, each type of leader is and can be a good one. By knowing the leadership style of an individual, you can better understand where they are coming from and how to work them.

Of course, no person is just one colour. Most of us have tendencies towards two or even three colours. You may be organized like a green, but inspirational like an orange. Don’t limit yourself when it comes to the qualities you have. Embrace your strengths, recognize your limitations. If you want, you can even learn attributes from other leadership styles and become more well-rounded.

The type of leader you are can affect how you interact with your employees, how professional you are in the workplace and even how you dress. What colour describes you and your leadership style?

By Brook Taverner 21 June 2017