I suppose it’s not a binary choice. But ultimately, they seem to fall in exclusive constellations of attributes.
Few leaders are in both camps. And, depending on the organization’s life-stage, you may need more from one camp than the other.
Pope Benedict vs. Steve Jobs. Neither is perfect, but each offers different personality sets at the helm of your charity.
I prefer to work with those who are in the latter camp. They are invariably afraid of little, impolitic, guileless, insistent, and noisy. But they most often find solutions, tell the truth, and can make things happen.
Not that I don’t like the former group, but I’ve found they hold their cards tight, condescend, rarely make a definitive statement, defer, passively-aggressively ignore, and require others to make things happen.
But they rarely threaten change. So there’s that.