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Importance of Knowing Your Leadership Style

By: Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D.
September 27, 2018    4 min read

Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and direct employees and other members of an organization. It involves creating and articulating a clear vision, establishing achievable goals and providing employees with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve those goals.

Leadership is performed through the impact of an individual’s personality on people and the environment within an organization.  In other words, leadership is a many faceted (or singular) tool for achieving organizational results.

One’s leadership style is the manner and approach of planning, providing direction, coaching, implementing plans, and motivating people. It includes a total pattern of explicit and implicit behaviors and actions performed by their leader. The way we lead is based on our personality type and our preferences, our strengths and blind spots, our orientation toward people or business, etc.  All leaders come to the table with some strengths (tools) for leading the business and people.  Without awareness of one’s leadership style, leaders tend to use a few tools rather than expanding their capacity and potential. How developed our leadership style is can profoundly affect people, the overall work environment and organizational culture.

Leadership Effectiveness starts with self-awareness…

Our effectiveness as leaders is enhanced or limited by our ability to know ourselves. Self-awareness, one of the core competencies of emotional intelligence, includes the recognition of our personality, emotions, our drives and triggers, our likes and dislikes, and our natural talents and abilities. It should always be the first step in leadership development as it is a prerequisite for effective communication, successful interpersonal relations and leadership effectiveness.

How our brain is organized dictates our personal preferences and all leaders have individual preferences for exercising power or control, task orientation, planning, interpersonal communication, relationship building, etc. These vary in intensity in each personality type. The type of behavior used when leading are also based on our preferences.  For example, leading business functions may be a core strength of some personalities and people leadership for others.  Expertise and directiveness only take leaders so far.  Even the most talented and the brightest individuals can fail in leadership effectiveness when they don’t possess the personal and social skills needed.

We, as leaders, need to become aware of our habits of mind and how to behave differently when appropriate to meet people and business needs. We also need to learn to recognize when our self-protective behaviors get in the way of building bench-strength, keeping the organization agile and remaining open to change and innovation. Self-protective behaviors interfere with achieving one’s own leadership potential as well as a failure to achieve organizational goals.

Using Personality Assessments to Maximize your Leadership Potential

Personality assessments allow us to understand the nature of our personalities from several different perspectives or models: for example, our preferred mental functions (decision-making and information gathering), our core values, or our emotional and social functioning, all of which are critical for leadership effectiveness. Different from assessing task competence, personality assessments such as the Striving Styles™ Personality System (SSPS™) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) help us understand the building blocks of our personality and the emotional needs that drive behavior.

Understanding our Leadership Style based on our personality type, helps increase overall effectiveness and satisfaction as a leader. It helps give insight into how to achieve our full potential through conscious intention. As leaders, being aware of our habits of mind, reactions and needs as well as the impact of our behavior on others helps us deal with the challenges that arise when you are expected to stretch beyond what is normal and comfortable for your personality type. Self-awareness and becoming a conscious leader start with understanding your Striving Style™ and what drives your leadership behavior.

Let’s start now.

Discover who you are meant to be with the Striving Styles™ Personality System (SSPS). Get insight into the organization of your brain, the innate needs that drive behaviour and how to break longstanding patterns of behavior that get in the way of achieving satisfaction in all areas of life.