The Orange Leadership Style

THE ORANGE LEADERSHIP STYLE

Before I touch on the Orange leadership style, let me explain what I’m talking about here. The Orange temperament is one of four personality types in the True Colors spectrum. The True Colors™ personality system is composed of four distinct colors—Orange, Gold, Blue, and Green—which represent different sets of personality traits. By understanding your True Colors type, you’re able to better understand yourself as a manager and gain insights into communication styles and preferences. Now, let’s talk about the Orange Leadership style in this post.

Also, if you are not sure what in the world I’m talking about with True Colors, click here.

The most free-wielding of personalities, Orange tends to be naturally flexible, easy-going, and open to change.

In fact, they are often the ones who generate it [the change].

They love to adventurously mix things up when life seems too safe and boringly consistent.

This temperament is rarely bogged down with obstacles or life’s struggles.

I think it’s because, as a manager, they are naturally resilient, move at a faster pace, and are able to advance past those obstacles.

Maybe they are quicker to recover because they don’t spend excessive time attempting to analyze them (i.e., Green), control them (i.e., Gold), or are emotionally affected by them (i.e., the Blue temperament.).

Not that they aren’t devastatingly affected by struggles, it’s just that they may choose not to allow the burdens to affect them as deeply as other temperaments might.

This is especially true for the analytical Green manager. The phrase “keep it moving” is likely coined by a person of the Orange temperament.

Let’s be 100% clear. The Orange True Colors’ temperament is a feeling temperament.

They may not show emotions often or to everyone (unless their second color is Blue), but they feel things deeply. If you are an Orange manager, you may tend to be emotionally resilient and on to the next thing before the “hurt” sets in. Again, they you likely it moving.

The Orange Leader is action-oriented, driven by adventure, and prefers the freedom to act outside of traditional leadership norms. Read more of my thoughts on this personality (and some common weaknesses) here.

Does this sound like you? Okay, then I’ll talk directly to you from now on.

The Orange Chief and Strict Rules.

Rules may seem the bane of your existence. In your opinion, creativity should trump “rule books,” and freedom should come before structure.

As an Orange manager, you may believe people perform best when they are able to establish their own processes and ways of work. You just want the work done – even if it is done from Starbucks.

Some temperaments may need what you would consider a bit of “hand-holding.” This will likely be people with the Blue temperament, possibly the Gold.

Let me use my “I” voice here. This is one of the biggest struggles I have as a leader. I often get so task-oriented I don’t feel the need for “check-ins” and meetings. Some of your team members need that time with you.

Remember the scene in “Devil Loves Prada” when Miranda shared she was having a life-altering challenge and sweet Andy asked, “Is there anything I can do?”

Miranda replied: “Yes, your job.” That’s a very Orange Leader answer!

I’m not saying Miranda is an Orange temperament. Nor am I saying Orange managers are jerks. Still, I think many Orange leaders can relate to the direct nature Miranda exemplified in her direct communicative style.

Generally speaking, the Orange leader sets the standard or expectation as most leaders do but likely expects the team member to develop the process themselves.  

Bored with such details, they may feel an “I should not have to tell you how to do it” type sentiment.  Remember, they are the  “Just do it” people.

The Orange Leadership style likes to WIN!

This leader tends to be competitive and wants their team to be the best and reach its goals quickly. Waiting on them to figure it out (or coaching them) could bring about a bit of stress.

Patience…Ugh

As I mention in my True Colors™ workshops in Kansas City, ability and preference are two different things. It’s not that any color “cannot” do something. You prefer to do them in a specific way.

Oranges can wait; it’s just that it is not what you want to do – unless they absolutely have to do so.

Doing a million things at once comes naturally to you (if you are an Orange) but sometimes gets you in a world of trouble. You may drop a few “balls” along the way. But that’s okay because you’re a natural problem-solver and can quickly recoup the process…often without anyone else knowing.

Orange Boss, take it easy while directing your staff.

As you lead your team, allow them (the team) to define and express their own comfort level as it relates to tasks and workload. They may not feel comfortable operating at your manic pace. So, let them set their own deadlines when possible.

You are likely to take on many projects and be in danger of completing none. This can frustrate your team. In fact, this can frustrate you!

Remember, the Green temperament (on your team and in your life) will need to probe. The Gold will want to organize, and the Blues just need to connect to the vision. Bear this in mind as you deal with team members.

Speaking of tasks, Honey, you’re all in. You can be like a “dog on a bone” with a project until you feel you’re finished (or bored with it).

You will talk about it incessantly, read about it constantly, and work on it relentlessly. Then, you’re done, and when you’re done – you’re done.

“Next!” you might say!

But why can’t we do that?”

Pushing boundaries is your natural bent.

Being told “no” may prompt you to push harder for the sheer joy of proving something can [indeed] be done (in spite of the ‘no’ or pessimists on the team).

Again, creativity and freedom outmaneuver the structure systems. You’ll chuck those rules in a heartbeat to get the job completed.

Ultimately, you believe anything is possible with a little “finagling” and adjustment.

Those bothersome rules seem to get in the way. Sometimes, these rules are the ones you set yourself as an Orange Leader.

Orange Leaders are communicative…to say the least.

I’ll bet you’re a talker, too, huh?

You likely most enjoy conversations that are light-hearted and amusing to some degree. You enjoy laughing and finding fun in just about everything. You often try to infuse that element of fun into most communication.  


For instance, if you’re not enjoying the topic, you likely rush to a conclusion.

I’ll bet you hate negativity and people wasting your time with their questions.

For some Oranges, it’s easy to confuse the two as being the same. You may find their questions to be unnecessary delays that you can do without. Be considerate of your team members who “think out loud” in meetings.

They may be processing. Give them time to do it.

In the end, pump the brakes as necessary.

If you do, you may minimize your stress and your team’s.  You’re a great leader! Just remember it isn’t all bout you. <3

Read about what I have to say about other True Colors Managers:

Green Leader

Gold Leadership

Blue Leader Details

Orange Leadership Style

As a personality consultant, here’s what’s important to me:

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