Over the past number of days, I’ve posted some thoughts on different leadership styles. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to look at the 8 different styles that were presented. There are many more, but I just chose these to consider at this point.
This past week, I was working with an Executive Team through the book, StrengthFinders (©2007 The Gallup Organization) by Tom Rath. It was an amazing process to simply consider the strengths that were identified by taking the assessment that comes when you purchase the book. The words that are identified don’t tell the full story of a persons strengths, but it provides some clear indicators as to how you naturally function and what you draw on in your leadership.
An example from my assessment is the word “activator” that showed up as my 2nd strength. The book defines what activator means: “‘When can we start?’ This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot NOT act.” (page 41)
This is me. The amazing thing about this is that while this is a strength, at times it can become a weakness. For me, knowing that action is my natural response, this has caused me to stop, to evaluate, to process and to realize that the only response isn’t necessarily action all the time. However, when something needs to be done, I’m the perfect person to do it. I’ll get it done.
As you look at these leadership styles, just knowing how you naturally lean will help you lead more effectively. Knowing how others on your team lean, will help you better manage your team and will help you delegate and empower them.
Rath defines a strength this way:
TALENT: a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving
INVESTMENT: time spent practicing, developing your skills and building your knowledge base
STRENGTH: the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance
This doesn’t mean that in our strengths we’re “perfect”, it just means that when you combine talent and investment in an area of true strength, you are really strong, really effective, really comfortable in that area.
Do you enjoy the Raging Rapids or the Calm Water?
Are you a Settler or a Pioneer?
Do you prefer going Deep or going Wide?
Are you a Tortoise or a Hare?
Learn more about yourself as a leader, and then use that knowledge to become a better leader.