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 be a leader in your home, community, workplace, or even nation. Leadership can take many forms, but it typically involves managing people- one of the most challenging tasks. It means coordinating and motivating the actions of others to achieve a common goal. Then, 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 personality and motivational values of that person usually predetermine the style of leadership taken by any leader. They are who they are, as a personality, which strongly influences how they lead and communicate with others.
The study of personality traits has been ongoing for centuries, and there is a great deal of agreement in the conclusions and findings of personality characteristics. In this article, I will refer to the different types of personality in color form, adopting 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 can draw on the strengths and characteristics of the other styles.
A leader with 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 belief that the work is essential and has to be done right. Gold leaders value tradition- the ways of the past are proven, so they only take well to new ideas if they are 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 can inspire others with their vision.
The strong Green leadership style also sees the big picture and 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 to work smarter rather than harder. Facts and information are all critical 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 will 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. A leader’s style may also blend their main strength with their second strongest style. A wise leader will understand the strengths and weaknesses of their leadership style and use those team members with different styles to bring balance and greater efficiency in meeting the shared goal.
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