Leadership training does not come in one-size-fits-all. That all leaders should follow the same rules for success is a sad myth. Sad, because all leaders are not the same and bring different temperaments to the task. The strengths of various temperaments are needed at different times and for different tasks. But most leadership conferences and literature on how to be a great leader assume that everyone succeeds with the same urges and drives in play. They don’t even mention the significant differences that shape individual decisions and lives. We will not repeat that mistake. The leadership rules must be customized to the leader’s strengths.
“Styles” Are Not the Leader
Some presentations segment leadership into different styles, but styles are not the leader. Circumstances and demands often change styles. Temperament is far more reliable for supplying the base knowledge of who we are and how we lead best. For millenniums, temperament has been used, researched, and confirmed as the best and most accurate, user-friendly way of finding out who we are. Temperament assessments should always insist on self-verification or they should be denounced as forcing another’s opinion on the subjective data known only to ourselves.
Useful Leadership Rules Require that You Know Who You Are
Who are you? You know — at least to the extent of being able to answer the questions of a Temperament Key and declaring which description of the temperaments best fits you. When you complete the Temperament Key, you will receive four letters. The letters are shorthand for a vast amount of information gathered over the centuries and verified millions of times over — no exaggeration. We encourage you to self-verify all the information that temperament assessments offer.
Useful Leadership Rules Require that You Know Who Your Followers Are
Leaders need to focus on both their own results and their followers’ results. Furthermore, they must know how their own temperament can bias them in how they think, feel and act toward those whose strengths differ from their own. We are hardwired with temperament. That’s the place to start: evaluating and discovering why we think, feel and act the way we do. Each member of your team should complete a Temperament Key and share their results. Knowing each other’s temperament will lead to mutual respect and understanding that will help to create synergy. Here’s a gift to help you.
Leaders Need Followers – How Else Can One Lead
The obvious is often forgotten: leaders need followers, and by how they lead, leaders determine the nature, loyalty and number of their followers. There is an Afghan proverb which says, “If you think you are leading and no one is following, you are only taking a walk.” A leader’s success often lies in the people who are their loyal and passionate followers.
Knowing Our Core Strengths Isn’t Enough
Using the core strengths of our temperament can mislead us, unless we understand that we can overuse and misuse them. Strengths must be used in terms of how they affect others, the workplace, and ourselves. We do not live only to ourselves.
Richard Nixon, an INTJ, is an example of someone who overused and misused his abilities at analyzing and strategizing. Nothing wrong with strategy, but it is devastating if you get caught using it to do harm to others in an effort to control outcomes for dubious purposes.
On the other hand, Bill Clinton an ESTP, used his strengths of self-promotion to gain him the White House and then to cloud his judgment and lead him into seductive activity.
In both cases, they were led by the false use of their strengths to destroy their public image and their moral standings.
Consider These Facts About Temperament Strengths
At times, we need to tone down our strengths, such as for the SJ when their desire for control of everything leads them to control others. Such overuse causes people to rebel. Here are some facts for consideration:
- Temperament helps or hinders according to how we use our temperament’s strengths.
- No one temperament can claim the right to be the best leadership temperament.
- SPs can be the best when risk is to be faced and courage is the name of the game.
- SJs thrive when rules are to be enforced and a set of cohesive systems are needed to be in place, together with focused attention to detail.
- NTs become excellent leaders when analysis, strategies and vision are required to lead the company forward in new ways.
- NFs excel when building a team, providing vision and finding and imparting passion. They are also the supreme diplomats.
- SJs and NTs can get bogged down in detail and miss the big picture.
- NTs and NFs can get lost in the possibilities and their theoretical wanderings. The real world and the virtual world of the mind must play their respective roles.
- Influencing is not just a matter of understanding others, but also of understanding ourselves.