7 Types of Leaders based on Vision, Execution, and Empathy

This article is written by Erik van Mechelen, based on the Octalysis framework by Yu-kai Chou and lessons from Octalysis Prime, a mentorship journey with Yu-kai Chou.

So you want to be an effective leader. Maybe even a great one. It is a good thought, a great feeling.

As a leader, you have the chance to inspire, direct, and support people to team and individual accomplishments, to make society and the world better through those people.

These statements might feel to you too grandiose. But we know from Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling, that having a Why will drive you to become a stronger leader.

This article will briefly touch on how to learn and train yourself to be an OP leader, the convergence of a leader with Vision, Execution, and Empathy.


Vision is the ability to see a path for your business or project and also to understand how the players on your team contribute to that. Lacking vision means you can’t see where you’re going. You’re blindly following trends or whims.

A leader with (em) vision is someone with the capability to communicate medium and long term insights and intuitions. This is a skill that can, counter to popular opinion, be cultivated.

If you only have Vision, you are a Dreamer.


A leader with strong execution abilities uses an understanding of How things will get done to drive her team to achieve results. Ideas without execution don’t matter that much. A leader with execution tendencies will push his team. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk come to mind here.

If you only have Execution, you are a Hustler.


Without empathy, a leader can’t engage emotionally with his team. This can lead to demotivation or burnout in team members.

Instead, a leader who has strong empathy will create a stronger culture of care and fun, useful for long-term motivation.

If you only have Empathy, you are a Caregiver.

You need at least 2

Usually, a Leader needs 2 of the 3.

Vision + Empathy = Coach

Vision + Execution = Dictator

Empathy + Execution = Manager

What leadership qualities do you have? Tell us in the comments.

For more about OP leadership, the sweet spot at the center, join Octalysis Prime now.

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