Have you ever considered these two types? If not, consider them now.
Elected leaders are the ones that we may be familiar with the most. It is reasonably clear how they became leaders. Someone recognized leadership ability within them. The organization then went on and nominated or appointed them to a position of responsibility and leadership. That is fairly clear cut. Ability was recognized and a position was attained. This is generally a good model and it produces good results.
Now consider the second type – the Influential leader. This person generally does not have real leadership skills. Yet they have a position of leadership in spite of it. They generally attain the position through shear force of personality. That may be just a euphemism for being a bully. But that is not always the case. Sometimes it is because they possess a specialized skill. Sometimes they attain it through longevity within the organization. Sometime they attain the role of leader through fame, notoriety, family or financial position. These are the leaders that are difficult to work with or work for.
What do you do or how do you handle a encounter with an influential leader who is not necessarily widely recognized or elected to serve a constituency?
I have had experience with this type of individual in the past. Although I will not reveal the details at this point. Rather, I will wait on you, the great reader and fellow leader to weigh in on the topic.