My sister, posted a link to an article on her facebook account, that described the traits of a leader. The point of this article, was to compare yourself to those traits, and then you could tell if you were a leader or not.
I’m sure you’ve seen a thousand such articles in your lifetime. Right?
Why is that? Shouldn’t we know by know all the definitive traits of leaders? Why are we still arguing over this then?
Here is the lesson I want you to come away with whenever you come across someone talking about this topic of leadership. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re of leadership material. The key point, and what makes this discussion useful, is this:
“How people define leadership can be used to classify which of the four personality types they have.”
Imagine that? There are four ways to define leadership. One for each of the four personality types.
The idea is this: people will define leadership by what values they hold dear to themselves. In other words, when they are describing a leader, they are telling you their own values.
For example, here are a few traits from the article that define “true” leadership. As you read them, which of the four personality types would “value” these things?
- Your dreams are so big they seem impossible.
- You foster unity by bringing people together and encouraging dialogue.
- You value relationships more than tasks.
- You are a learner. You read, listen to podcasts, attend conferences, and ask other leaders lots of questions.
Who could be a leader as defined by these traits?
If you typed this person as a “Morale Officer,” using our Personality Marketing nomenclature, you are right. These values that are consistent with the person with that type of personality.
The point of the article, is that if you didn’t agree with these ideals (values), then you are not of leadership qualities. I say: Hogwash. They are only one set of leadership values, as defined by just one of the personality types. That should be good news to you, right?
You do not need to feel low or unimportant because you don’t have the same values as they do. After all, they don’t hold the same ones as you do. Your’s are just as important as theirs.
Leadership Discussions are Funny
I find two things funny about articles about leadership. First, they generate a lot of confusion and sometimes heated discussions. Why? because people of with different personality types feel left out. It is like they are saying: “What about my values? Don’t you care about what I think is important?”
For example, on this particular article that I was reading, there were 700 replies! And every fourth one was written by someone with a different personality type. And they would put forth values that they felt leaders would have based on their personality type. For example: “A Leader…”
- … Is A Risk Taker or Has Courage – Warrior personality type
- … Sets the example. Leads from the front, not the back – Warrior personality type
- … Keeps moving forward – Warrior personality type
- … Gets things accomplished – Logistical personality type
- … Feels Responsible for Their Actions – Logistical personality type
- … Is a Servant First – Logistical personality type
- … Has a Written Plan – Strategist personality type
- … Is Efficient with resources – Strategist personality type
- … Is Focused – Strategist personality type
- … Communicates effectively – Strategist personality type
Again, the point is that you use these statements to classify people.
Therefore, if you want a good non-judgmental question that you can ask someone to find out what personality type they have, all you have to do is ask them to define a leader’s qualities. Then it is just a matter of matching their values to their personality type — which are listed for you in the Personality Marketing Manual.
Where Are The Followers?
The other thing that I think is funny about these leadership discussions, is that the participants often wonder why others are not following their lead. The will say things like: “A shepherd isn’t a shepherd if he doesn’t have any sheep.”
Of course, the reason for this, which I’ve explained here a million times, is that “likes attract likes.”
For example, if you placed me (I have the Logistical personality type) into an organization that was full of Morale Officers, I can guarantee you that none of them would consider me a good leader. It’s because I don’t share the same values that they do. I am not “like” them.
For example, as listed above, people with the Morale Officer personality type put a higher value on people than they do on tasks. I cringe at that, because I think that leads to chaos in production.
Here is what I think when I hear that phrase. Just imagine walking into a McDonalds, and the guy flipping burgers was greatly concerned about matching the exact temperature of the meat to the preferences of the customer. He’d have to stop and adjust the grill every time a new customer walked through the door. What would happen? His rate of production would plummet, and the diner would go broke.
But in my industry, which is dominated by people with the Logistical personality type, I’m generally considered a great leader. The reason is that I have the same values as other Logistical’s, and I’m not afraid to display them openly. They look to me, because in a world where you’re beat down because of Political Correctness, seeing someone else standing up for your values is appealing.
As a Logistical personality type, I don’t have much of a problem with putting a task ahead of a person’s feelings. For example, I know all my employees would feel great with an extra hour of sleep in the morning. But I have customers in easterly time zones that want to talk to a real person on the phone early in the morning. So I hound my employees to get to work on time so that the task of answering the phone gets accomplished.
General George Washington, a great Logistical leader, probably ordered several people into situations where they would die, in order that a battle could be won. “The cause” and the outcome, is more important than feelings of people. I respect that value, even if others don’t.
By the way, Morale Officers, in general, consider President Obama to be a great leader because he has the same values that they do (people are more important than tasks). But for me, I think he is a terrible leader because he doesn’t share my values.
That just goes to show you how personality will play in the Presidential elections. If you want to learn more about this, and how to persuade people to latch on to your dreams of leadership, you need the Personality Marketing Manual. It will guide you through the maze of human values and how they determine the behavior and actions of others.
Most problems are personality problems. If you know how to sort out the personality issues, you can persuade them to do what you desire. It is that powerful.