Think Leadership – Tip #2 – Personality Drives Your Leadership Style

In the previous tip I talked about how our values set our leadership signature.

But what about leadership style?

Leadership styles come in many ways: transactional, autocratic, participative, task oriented, people oriented, and servant leadership are some examples.

While these definitions are all great I find it difficult to relate.  I prefer to use leadership personality.  There are two ways I like to think about personalities which I got from “managing with impact”, and Linda Sasser.

The managing with impact course talks about Process vs. Results vs. Relationship.  And Linda’s concept breaks it into Head vs. Heart.  What makes these systems simple to understand is that reading the title gives you a good idea of how it works.

In the Process/Results/Relationship a person will be in one place along the triangle.  Process people like to setup step by step guidelines.  Results people just want to know what’s the final answer.  Relationship people are all about sharing emotions, life experiences, and socializing.

Linda’s concept is a simplification of the managing with impact triangle.  Head people like details, results, analysis, processes, etc.  It’s a combo of process and results.  Heart people are all about caring, emotions, needs and wants.

Using myself as an example

My personality is more about relationship, process and heart.  I choose and enjoy to build a relationship first and address the person before getting into the projects and strategy.

Common things I do:

  • Ask people how they are (really) doing?
    • How are things at home and life.
    • Is anything frustrating them?
    • What can I do to help?
  • Create Outlines of how to do certain tasks.
    • When I’m teaching, I’m usually starting with the concepts, then how they connect, and ultimately how they are used.
  • I share how I feel about something before stating the facts.
    • “I’m getting a little frustrated by…”
    • “I’m glad you help with this…”’

This style of leadership has worked for me not because it’s the right way of doing it but because it is consistent with the type of person I am and want to be.  I get energy from talking to others and learning from them.  I prefer outlines of the big picture instead of detailed development plans.  I talked with emotions before using the facts.  That is my personality; and it drives the way I lead.

So what’s your personality? How has that guided your leadership?

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