No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Be True to Yourself

At my workplace our senior management group has all taken one of those strengths evaluations. This particular one uses an intensive questionnaire to identify your five greatest strengths out of an array of 30 or more.

Interestingly, the 20 of us who took it collectively cover almost all of those strengths. None of us had the same top five. The most any one strength was present was in half of us. The big takeaway for me: There is amazing variety in the kinds of people who can lead well.

I’ve touched on this before, but you’ll be the most effective for your team and the happiest in your work if you intentionally lead in your own way. Small forests of trees have gone into the pages written on the topic, but for you, it’s all just context. Read to get ideas, but listen to yourself when you lead. The more natural and enjoyable a technique feels, the closer you’re getting to the real you.

My wife is a natural leader; she doesn’t study it or even call herself a leader. She’s very empathetic and selfless, a great relationship builder and one of those encouragers who pulls the best out of everyone. I’m more of a strategist, planner, and overt coach. I lead from in front; she leads from the middle of the group. We’re both good at it, but she might be better.

To lead, you have to set a vision, get people to see it, and move them toward it. How you do that is a very personal thing, so be true to yourself, not an imitator of someone else.

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