What Kind of Leader are You?
You are a leader if someone is following you. This could be as simple as one person watching you and following your example and encouragement, to being a leader in your home, your community, your workplace or even your nation. Leadership can take many forms, but typically it often involves managing people- one of the most difficult of all tasks. It means coordinating and motivating the actions of others to achieve a common goal. A leader has to establish that goal, and gain the willing agreement of others to be governed by and work together towards that goal.
The style of leadership taken by any leader is usually predetermined by the personality and motivational values of that person. They are who they are, as a personality, and that has a strong influence on the way they lead and communicate with others.
The study of personality traits has been on going for centuries, and there is a great deal of agreement in the conclusions and findings of personality characteristics. In this article I am going to refer to the different types of personality in color form, adopts the categories applied by Linda Berens and Don Lowry.
Every personality type has particular talents and skills that lend themselves to good leadership. Any form of leadership however, is greatly enriched and enhanced if it is able to draw on the strengths and characteristics of the other styles.
A leader who has a strong Gold personality type is personally committed and dedicated to the goal. They work hard, and expect their team to do the same. They lead from a place of belief that the work is important, and has to be done right. Gold leaders value tradition- the ways of the past are proven ways, and so do not take well to new ideas unless they are well proven to have potential.
Leaders with a strong Blue personality are motivated by their commitment to the people involved, and a strong sense of community. They have a democratic style of management, valuing the input of employees and team workers. Blue leaders tend to see the big picture, and have the ability to inspire others with the vision.
The strong Green leadership style also sees the big picture as well as the complexity of detail. Green leaders excel in strategy. They bring intellect, ingenuity and design into the leadership role. They research and analyze facts and concepts, constantly looking for improvements for working smarter rather than harder. Facts and information are all important to the Green leader, and they pay little attention to the value of feelings and relationships.
Action is the focus of the Orange leader. Administration and organization exist to make action possible. They are great troubleshooters. The Orange leader leads by example, setting the standard to follow. Orange management style can be quite authoritarian and abrupt as they are impatient with opposition, and expect their directions to be followed. Above all Orange leaders welcome change believing that the old ways can always be improved on. A new project represents, adventure, a challenge and potential fun, all of which the Orange personality thrives on.
Every leader has a combination of all four personalities, but one will always be the stronger, more natural way to operate in. A leader’s style may also be a blend of their main strength, combined with their second strongest style. A wise leader will understand the strengths and weaknesses of their personal leadership style and use those team members with different styles to bring balance and greater efficiency in meeting the shared goal.