…managing me for leadership
The inspirational drive and desire by any individual to become a leader must empower personal commitment to learn to manage self. Managing a team, processes or a function is daunting, leading is neck breaking as such anyone who aspires to lead has a lot to be prepared for.
The quest to lead must bring us to focus on the management of our personality, perceptions and values if we want to effectively make an impact and influence outcomes. Perception generally speaks to a person’s way of receiving, attending to, processing, storing and using stimuli to understand and make sense of our world whiles values deal with a person’s beliefs about something in which they have emotional attachments.
A person’s personality is about the style, manner of behaviour, how he or she deals with issues as they happen. We can identify with some individuals who may be slow others quick to take action, retentive yet others forgetful, quiet and others loud. This is who they are and whether good or bad has significant implications on how their leadership turns out to be. Having said that, how is a person’s personal trait dispositions likely to shape their quest to become great leaders?
Several misconceptions about leadership have been banded around that, leadership happens at the top and not from the middle of an organization. There are others who erroneously hold the belief that, leadership is positional and a destination. Arguably, leadership is more dispositional than positional for it’s the choices individuals make relative to their office that make them leaders or not. I will use this series to discuss and address leadership and the discovery of colours, effective team management, effective strategy mapping and the alignment of performance for success. Let’s talk managing me for leadership.
Are you curious, independent minded who possess creative abilities and are self- directed? Do you have the knack to excel, ambitious and mentally possessed to be successful? If the answers are in the affirmative, then you are on the path for leadership. The journey of leadership encompasses daily management of one’s personality, perceptions and values. Therefore, knowing yourself and taking the right steps to build up the needed capacity for change and development ahead of any leadership role one may be assigned to ensure phenomenal results and success.
Moreover, the most impactful change comes from the inside out. It does not come from hacking at leaves of attitude and behaviour with quick fix personality ethic techniques. It comes from striking at the root, the fabric of our thought, the fundamental, essential paradigms, which give definition to our character and create the lens through which we see the world. Moreover, building a character of total integrity and living the life of love and service that creates such unity isn’t easy.
It begins with the desire to centre our lives on correct principles, to break out of paradigms created by other centres and the comfort zones of unworthy habits. That which we persist becomes easier not that the nature of the task has changed but our ability to do has increased. By centring our lives on correct principles and creating a balanced focus between doing and increasing our ability to do, we become empowered in the task of creating effective, useful and peaceful lives for ourselves and for our posterity. And that is where leadership begins
The principle of sharpen one’s saw with great expectations to lead emboldens an attitude of self-visualization by the individual to balance current reality with the expectations of the future. By this, the individual begins to work out a mission of daily private victories of shaping his or her value systems, personality and perceptions. That notwithstanding, the tendency to develop the talent or capacity for the desired change, build up strength and support systems to face highly complex leadership situations in the future.
Managing individual personality is to manage thoughts and actions. For Freud, personality is the make-up of the thoughts and actions emerging from the subconscious of the individual. The subconscious contains desires, thoughts and dreams and in the deep of the unconscious is where we store our troubled feelings and thoughts and the mind keeps them hidden by working in a number of remarkable ways. Another school of thoughts also suggest that, what constitute the personality of an individual is the commitment to growth and potential development. Hence, it is concluded that, you are what you grow. Notably, when we act in ways consistent with our ideal self, we create positive image which help our course for leadership.
The popular saying that, he who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality and will never, therefore make progress speaks volumes about how the individual thought patterns affect the way he or she leads. Therefore, it is very important to consider how perceptions are formed, how they govern the way we see and how the way we see governs how we behave even in leadership. The obvious inclination is that any attempt to change the real situation may call for a change in oneself first. To effectively change oneself, is to change our perceptions and thoughts.
Values can be understood within the context of people management. To form, sustain and improve relationships with people or to motivate people, we must understand what is and what is not important to them. Values drive behaviour, affect and are affected by how we perceive and make sense of our world. Understanding values is fundamental attribute for managing today. Moreover, we should also have an understanding and appreciation of how our values filter information and create knowledge, colouring the world we perceive as tinted lenses do.
Because not everyone sees things the same way, it is imperative for leaders to exercise the caution on how they handle and manage their personal values with that of their team and corporate. Schwartz held that, values are the desirable goals, varying in importance, which serve as guiding principle in people’s lives. Therefore, these sets of individual values must serve to enhance personal effectiveness and create value for leadership and the lives of individuals within the team. Interestingly, how well one performs in leadership has greater reflection on the individual’s personal value drives.
Knowing the leader in me
What specific colour are you identified with as a person? In order words, a person’s favourite colour has been proven by research to reveal the kind of leader he/she is likely to be. This colour identification also equips us with the understanding about how to manage team members who may also belong to other colour groupings and their expectations. Every person has a unique leadership style and personality brand within them.
Therefore, the more we understand about ourselves and about others, the better we are able to connect with them, the expectations required of them and the responsibility to offer the needed support for accomplishment. Much more, developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the differences of others give us the ability to learn to adapt to their unique styles and create an atmosphere of coexistence, commitments and collectiveness. In precise terms, an atmosphere that promotes cohesive
drive and efforts help to build trust within relationships and with leadership so that, collectively, greater achievements are realized. So, who are you by colour?
Typically, of those who are identified with colour blue are the look they have as formal, practical, analytical, conventionally cautious, very precise and deliberate in attitude and may possibly expect to carry these traits into how they lead people and their expectations for results. Blue is seen as soothing and calming and as such, blue leaders are considered to be steady, calm and consistent. They fit greatly in operational leadership, hence their continuous consistency and reliability in establishing strategic principles, evaluating critical processes and honour and applying personal and collective wisdom to organization drive. In their stead, blue leaders build processes and systems that enable the organization succeed in spite of when chaos of change begins to overcome the productivity and emotions of the team. They share perspectives that provide the needed calm to the situation and creatively provide the culture that serve the people though the implementation of well-built structures and systems. Without the blue leaders on a team, the team or the organizations’ mission will not gain traction as there will not be systems beneath the surface.
Red is the colour of passion and fire and leaders here provide leadership direction and the passion for results. Notably, this category of leaders are competitive, risk takers, results oriented, demanding, determined, strong-willed and purposeful by trait. They exude an energy that determines direction, initiates key actions, challenge constructively and deliver key results which remain the inspiration to drive the team for excellence. They are directional leaders who provide clarity of purpose, driven by shared values and helpful in generating great ideas to support the course. Without them on a team, purpose and direction wane over time.
To be identified with this colour is to know that, you are caring, you provide encouragement, you share, are very patient and a relaxed personality. With you, your greatest preoccupation is the desire to nurture and serve others and to provide trust. You collaborate and excel at lateral leadership by bring others together when situations are bad. The collaborative leader is patient, systematic, caring, good listener and steady. Leadership here pursues growth through constant learning, innovation and ensuring that, the team receives nourishment in knowledge to stay relevant for excellent job performance. Typically, of green leadership is the building of consensus, collaborations and the encouragement they offer the team members in the midst of exciting times. Without green leaders on a team, the team largely suffers disunity.
These individuals are identified as sociable, dynamic, demonstrative, expressive, trusting and talkative enthusiastic and persuasive by character. Their energy drive for leadership is to provide inspiration and motivation for others. They equally inject energy and optimism in teams, good in establishing effective relationships and are visionary in new opportunities. Yellow is a colour of energy, warmth and positivity and as such yellow leaders lead a climate of positive energy on their team. They equally exude a positive outlook that makes them very optimistic about the future. Through their inspiration, they are able to invest and drive the team for action and into to excellent performances. Without them in a team, the energy drive for the team dissipates and mission abandon at the middle of the assignment.
Managing the leader in me
The discipline to make progressive achievements in anyone’s leadership journey is to identify the personal biases and the weaknesses that dominate and affect the probable chances of being equipped, retooled and enhanced for action. Every leader has shortcomings and it takes personal commitments and drive to acknowledge these behaviours so to work on them. Man, know thyself and an unexamined life is not worth living are two great statements that support the view to constantly avail the leader to peer review and constructive support guide to stay the course. The question is, are you ready for that leadership journey? Then the following prescriptions come in handy if the leader wants to be successful:
In conclusion however, I will emphasise that leadership is complex and challenging and so thinking about discovering of self and how to appropriately take the steps to manage the outcomes would connect the individual to better results. Following the thoughts of these colour traits of leadership behaviour and style would ensure we know who we are so we can we deal with ourselves for the desire to lead. In that sense, let’s us follow our colour of first choice and the lessons they provide so we can find our pot of leadership rainbow.
Discovery…Thinking solutions, shaping visions.
The writer is the CEO and Strategic Partner of AQUABEV Investment and Discovery Consulting Group. He is an Executive Director and the Lead Coach in Leadership Development and best Business Management practices for Discovery Leadership Masterclass.
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23rd August, 2021