Be A GREAT Leader With YOUR Personality!
Contrary to what you might think, being a great leader doesn’t depend on having a particular personality. However, your personality does impact how you lead!
When you think of GREAT leaders, who comes to mind? Big names associated with leadership like John Maxwell, Simon Sinek, or the late Stephen Covey? Or possibly one of the 50 people Fortune Magazine named as The World’s Greatest Leaders in 2021: Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand), Dan Schulman (CEO of Paypal), Dolly Parton, or Tom Brady, among 45 others.
Perhaps, when you think of great leaders you look a little closer to home – your high school coach, youth leader, a college professor, or a phenomenal boss is who stands out in your mind.
Leaders that are able to capitalize on their strengths and overcome the weaknesses of their personality are the great ones! Especially if they are also able to adapt to the needs of the personalities around them.
Now, you might not be on the edge of your seat, but this is fantastic news! It means that you have the potential to be a great leader! And that’s extra good news because whether you think so or not, you lead in some way. You may never earn one of the coveted spots on Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 leaders list – I probably won’t either – but that doesn’t mean that you and I can’t make a difference leading right where we are.
When Others Follow, You Are Leading!
Some leadership roles are official, others less formal. Whether you are a C suite leader or simply leading yourself, parenting, or influencing your social circle – it is leadership. Overseeing a small team, a huge corporation, or a ministry – it’s all leadership. And how you lead varies depending on your unique personality. Each personality type has amazing strengths as well as pesky weaknesses that can dramatically impede your effectiveness and ability to influence those around you.
Why not take the time to understand your personality and its preferences and the personality preferences of those you come in contact with so that you can lead more effectively? To help you do that, meet a few of my friends and get a peek into the four different behavioral styles that make up DISC model of understanding different personalities:
Taking a quick look at my friends might lead you to believe that personalities are cut and dried, but in reality, it’s unusual for someone to be just a Driving Drew or just a Cautious Cathy. And their natural characteristics are preferences – not set in stone!
DISC provides a grid for understanding, but you are unique. No one is exactly like you! You are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! With that in mind, it’s much more common for you and those around you to have a dominant behavior style and a secondary behavior style. Here’s what I mean:
In addition to being an Influencing Izzy, you might also have some Driving Drew in you too! (I/D)
Or perhaps you are primarily a Steady Steve, but also a little Cautious Cathy. (S/C)
No matter what your personality combination is, how it plays out for you will be exclusive to you – God is endlessly creative.
What’s Unique About DISC?
One aspect of DISC that’s different from other personality models, is that it provides two graphs. I call those two graphs Thing #1 & Thing #2, but technically they are referred to as Graph #1, which reveals who you are when you are putting on your best face and are “company ready,” and Graph #2, which reveals who you are when you are under pressure – the real you.
Below is an example of what the two graphs might look like. Whatever is above the mid-line – that’s what really matters! This individual is a D when they are on their best behavior, but under pressure or when they feel comfortable enough to relax and let their hair down, they are a D/C.
These two graphs are amazing, but they only tell part of the story. It’s impossible to know whether this person operates mostly out of their strengths or out of their weaknesses.
Each personality type or behavioral style has strengths and weaknesses that can’t be overlooked. It’s not your personality that determines your success as a leader, but rather your ability to harness your strengths and overcome your weaknesses that makes the difference.
Another way to think about it is that the more you lean into the Spirit, the more your strengths will shine. On the flip side, the more you operate out of your flesh, the more your weaknesses will be revealed. We all have weaknesses! And you need God’s help to overcome them. You will mess up. You will struggle. And you will grow!
In addition to understanding your own personality, it’s also very beneficial to have an understanding of the unique personalities of those around – especially those you lead. As a leader, it’s your job to adapt to them, not the other way around.
Who did you identify with: Driving Drew, Influencing Izzy, Steady Steve or Cautious Cathy? What weakness, if worked on, would have a powerful impact on your ability to lead more effectively?
The Enneagram & DISC
More familiar with the Enneagram? It’s quite popular these days. Here’s a quick comparison between DISC & the Enneagram:
The advantage to DISC is that it is easier to apply on the spot than the Enneagram, making it more likely that you will apply the information.
There’s so much more to explore when it comes to personalities! And as your understanding increases and you’re more able to apply the information your ability to lead more successfully will be greater too!
Curious about learning more about your unique DISC profile or the DISC profile of those on your team? Schedule a quick chat with me here. I’d be delighted to explore that with you!
What’s your unique personality and how is it impacting how you lead?