Have you ever thought about this title? Or even worse, has anyone ever brought the subject to your attention? Maybe you have, but you don’t put much stock in “soft skill” stuff.
You are the leader. You lead and they follow…if they want to keep their jobs, that is. Simple. Right? Wrong.
Studies tell us that people leave bosses, not jobs or companies. People who want to become good, even great, leaders must consider this: when employees leave, the leader has been fired. Fired by the employee.
They fired you, the GUARDIAN leader because you were inflexible, stuck on doing things the same way they were always done. You didn’t get out of the box, see implications or long term ramifications. You didn’t trust their ideas. Your communications were curt, blunt, even ‘bossy’. You heard what was said literally but you missed getting the idea – the real meaning. You were great with details, dates and deadlines but it felt like tasks and things were more important to you than people or new ideas. Employees weren’t going to develop wings and grow under you. So they said good bye.
They fired you, the RATIONAL leader, because you always knew better or more. You never really asked for help and when they presented you with ideas, you seemed skeptical. Your questions sometimes felt like interrogation and it was intimidating. You were too focused on vision, or strategy or the big picture. You didn’t deal with things right in front of you that needed attention. You were always changing things. You had an idea of what you were trying to do but often lacked a detailed plan they could understand. They know you’re intelligent and creative but sometimes it felt competitive and they didn’t feel valued. Time to go.
They fired you, the IDEALIST leader, because you seemed so removed from reality. You let poor performers stay on too long, believing they could improve when the rest knew better and bore the burden. It was often difficult to understand your stream of consciousness communication style and the point you were trying to make. You gave too few specifics. They came out of meetings with different understandings that caused conflict, which you didn’t like and would avoid. You were full of ideas, creative and flexible, but your emotions overrode logic and people were frustrated. Sigh. So long.
And they fired you, the ARTISAN leader, because you were fun but didn’t follow the rules you set up. Rules that seemed like constraints for you but were needed structure for others. They felt impatience when they didn’t catch on as fast as you. You seemed frustrated by supervising. They didn’t feel they had your attention when talking with you; like your mind was somewhere else. You were fidgety, impulsive, easily bored, moved too fast, then decided too quickly to move on, leaving others behind in frustration. Oh, you were fun, even made them laugh. Yours were great negotiations, problem solving and troubleshooting skills but they were exhausted by your style. See ya.
There are plenty of highly successful leaders who are Guardians, Rationals, Artisans and Idealists. One is not better, or the best.
What’s important to know is that temperament has an impact on others and leaders need to know what theirs and others’ temperaments are. Sadly, too many are unaware and struggle with the unintended consequences. They lose or can’t attract people, can’t motivate and get the results hoped for and needed, or are frustrated not knowing why people react the way they do.
Leaders need to know that it is no longer just about what you know. Long term security is also about how you are.
Your success as a leader depends on being able to attract, engage, motivate and maintain the right people who become the bottom line competitive advantage for your business.
Take the steps. Make the investment to discover who you are and who are in leadership roles in your business. Watch the difference awarenesss can make.