This is Leadership: Beyond Leader Personality

This is Leadership: Leader reflections

Leaders must know their personality types so to build their competencies around such traits

It is not always about knowing the things around you. It is also about knowing the things within you. Knowing more about yourself and not bringing your value to the fore is a simple waste of time.

Interestingly, I get excited when I engage teams in seminars, corporate trainings and team sessions. It’s a good exercise to embark on an abstract journey so to find yourself at the place you want to be. Learn to discover yourself. It’s a beautiful experience. Reflect more. As a matter of fact, self-discovery creates a path for a good leadership journey.

Self-discovery doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be the only one who can see your journey from your first step. It doesn’t also mean that you have to be the one to discover your talent. To the point, you have to understand the reverberations of the echoes. Hear the noise and feel the silence. You need the skill to understand the after-effects of your actions. Some come as writings on the wall.

Others are silent unless you train your intuitions. Goleman (1995) advises us to train our intuitions just as we invest in our intellects. When proponents of the OCEAN model grouped personality types into five broad factors (Hughes et al 2015), the focus was on recurring traits. In leadership, it’s not just about the personality type. It’s about what you do with your personality type.

The ‘O’ is simply openness to experience. The ‘C’ is conscientiousness. The ‘E’ is extraversion. The ‘A’ is agreeableness, and the ‘N’ is Neuroticism.  The acronym is really loaded and from a leadership perspective, leaders must have a fine blend of personality type or types to build a leadership personality profile defined by a unique character.

If personality types are predictors of behaviours then leaders must see the strength in their personalities in order to become better each day. The argument is that leaders must know their personality types so to build their competencies around the traits they easily espouse. It is worth mentioning that, the fact that you build your competencies around your personality type does not spontaneously lead to leadership success.

The leader-follower-situation model dispels all logical permutations because of the snowballing effect and dimensions of situations within the leadership interactional framework. Though traits may define you, your personality type- no matter how strong it is- may fade over time as a result of age and or life experiences. Beyond personality type is disposition. It is central to leadership profile as well as leader thought process.

Personality types, traits and behavior are stronger in strong situations and vice-versa. If you discover yourself early enough in your leadership journey you have to find ways to prune all excesses before you hit the homestretch. In effect, you must always know who you are and where you are going. Many ask, how do I discover myself? Know who you are. Know who you are not. See where you are going from where you are.

Find your talents, potential, skills and competencies available within the self.  Get the map. Equip yourself with the requisite tools for your journey. Be confident in your head, heart and guts. Trust your little steps and use the feedback loop. If you get to know yourself and you fail to apply yourself towards leadership development you’d have been better off not knowing who you really are. We’ll surely revisit this assertion within the Great Man Theory.   This is Leadership!

Leave a Reply