Leadership. It’s all the rage.
Leadership is the buzzword that just won’t stop buzzing. Everyone talks about it. Everyone is looking for it.
What is a leader? Leaders are brave. They break down barriers. They are on the front lines of every battle. They speak their mind. They use their charm first, then their force if necessary. They always know the right thing to do and the right time to do it.
This sounds like exactly what a leader should be, right? The only problem is, this isn’t accurate.
Sure, it describes some leadership personalities. Some people with these traits may be very effective in their leadership role. But it’s not the only way to lead. There is no one personality type that’s better at leading than another. All personality types can master their own version of leadership. All types can lead, they just lead differently.
In all the noise, everyone misses two basic facts about leadership:
- A leader is a person who other people follow.
- People only follow people they like.
These are the only two questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to developing leadership skills:
- How will I do it?
- Will anyone follow me?
Who Are You?
Knowing how you’re wired is the first step. If you don’t know who you are, how will you know how to lead others? How will you develop a picture of what your leadership style will look like?
Here are ways each of the main personality groups approach leadership:
The dominant personality maintains an aggressive leadership style. They do things in spite of people, not necessarily through people. They make lots of money, but they have few friends. Not all dominant personality types are over-aggressive, but all over-aggressive personality types are dominant. They are ruthless and never settle with “no.” To succeed, many dominant personalities may opt to take themselves out of a day-to-day people management role and work “on” the company, rather than “in” it.
The influencer uses their expert relationship-building and connecting skills to whip up passion and energy around them. They do things through people, never in spite of them. They are very convincing. They are charming. They say the right things at all the right times. When good intentions are in play, they have much less of a struggle developing effective leadership skills.
Don’t let the word “submissive” throw you off – submissive personalities are easy leaders to follow. Because they tend to settle for what they can get and don’t fight for what they want. Submissive types create a sense of family around them. In a cutthroat industry it might not work, but passive leadership can lead to extended employee retention and a dedicated, loyal attitude from employees who simply don’t want to let their boss down.
Due to their ever-constant reliance on facts and figures, conscientious personalities can be assertive, effective leaders, though they might resist the spotlight at first. Still, armed with data and facts, they know they can’t go wrong.
The Markings of a True Leader
The best leaders are rarely ever appointed. The best leaders are emergent leaders.
When a team is working together and one person rises to the top of the group, there’s a reason. Maybe they take more responsibility than the others. Maybe they’re more knowledgeable on the topic. Maybe they come in early and leave late. Maybe the others simply trust them.
Whatever the case, leaders who are put in place by the people are the most effective and beloved, versus leaders who are randomly selected for a top role without team input or influence.
Work On It
Your first step to forming your own leadership style is getting to know the real you. Personality testing will reveal information about yourself you would never realize on your own. Take our free assessment to start on the road towards self-discovery.