Leadership is about creating an environment where an act of faith can take place. Your people will follow you when you can communicate your vision, mission, and goals in a credible, trust building fashion. Faith is built upon trust, trust is built upon credibility, and credibility is an abstract thing. Depending upon the values set of the person you intend to lead and inspire the credibility model will change.
Your values are typically driven by a number of factors, yet one of the key drivers is ones personality style. As a leader our unique style will determine how we lead, what and motivates us, and it will also determine what blind spots and weaknesses we have. It will also tell people what you find credible and trust building.
There is no definitive leadership style that outpaces the others. The most successful leaders are the ones that can shift their communications styles and behaviours in order to match the values of other people. By being able to identify the personality style of the person we are interacting with, we can communicate and behave in a way that their style finds trust and faith building. A big part of this style and behavioral shifting skill set is also about knowing our own style of leadership and how to shift it to connect with and inspire our team
So let’s look at our four leadership styles, their motivators, and credibility models:
THE CONTROLLING LEADER – Profile
Basic Profile: Extroverted and Organized
Who are they: Great decision makers who value doers and results. Has strong direct posture and communications.
Credibility to them is: On Time, Bottom line, Getting the task done, Results Orientated, Efficient, No Frills
Under Stress: My way or the highway attitude, Argumentative, Unbending
Leadership Strengths: Works harder under pressure. Commanding presence. Quick accurate decisions. Eye for the bottom-line.
Leadership Weaknesses: Can lead solely on title, not on relationship or empowerment. Can be insensitive and offensive to other styles. Not very personal, it’s always about the bottom line. Has a hard time delegating
To break credibility: Be late, be indirect, be too personal, break commitments, get emotional or stressed out, be too flashy, take too long to make decisions
THE PROMOTING LEADER – Profile
Basic Profile: Extroverted and Disorganized
Who are they: Very expressive, great rapport builders and motivators, often very optimistic.
Credibility to them is: Wit, Humor, Big Picture Thinking, Flexibility, Recognition, Fun, Expressiveness, Creativity
Under Stress: Loses track of time and details, verbally attacks others, shifts the blame
Leadership Strengths: Naturally inspiring. Great starters, well networked with team and well liked, highly creative and intuitive.
Leadership Weaknesses: Lack follow-through, fails to maintain relationships, can be manipulated easily due to big need for recognition. Miss fine details needed for effective leadership. Thinks out loud before thinking about the consequences.
To break credibility: Criticize them or one of their ideas, be unexpressive or quiet, be too serious, be too rigid, dress in an understated way, be too focused on the little things and not the big picture
THE SUPPORTING LEADER – Profile
Basic Profile: Introverted and Disorganized
Who are they: Nurturing, supporting personality who values intimate relationships and connection.
Credibility to them is: Intimacy, Morality, Safe thinking, Family and Relationship Oriented, Easy Paced, Heart Felt
Under Stress: Fits in, Gets Highly Emotional, Feels very overwhelmed
Leadership Strengths: Consistent, very aware of each team member’s feelings, desires, hurts and passions. Great supporter and nurturer
Leadership Weaknesses: Too lenient on people, gives too much and can lose respect, too personal, easily emotionally affected, loses track of time and important deadlines, generally disorganized and attached to tradition.
To break credibility: Disrespect loved ones, make off color jokes about other people, be too flashy, hurt peoples feelings, make unethical moves.
THE ANALYTICAL LEADER
Basic Profile: Introverted and Organized
Who are they: Detail orientated system builder. Highly quality conscious. Plans almost everything.
Credibility to them is: Accurate information, Detail, Staying the path, understating, statistics, planning, quality
Under Stress: Hides or retracts, Sticks to what is familiar, freezes or fails to take action
Leadership Strengths: Builds great systems, manages risk well, assesses risk well, accurate and well planned, humble and non-intrusive
Leadership Weaknesses: Too black and white in their thinking and can lack spontaneity and lateral thinking skills. Can take forever to make a decision. Can be boring or uninspiring. Holds grudges.
To break credibility: Be inaccurate or make assumptions, produce low quality work, be late, invade their personal space or bubble. Be too flashy.
The way to use these profiles is to identify where each of your team mates falls in the style grid and then begin to evaluate how you can more effectively connect with them by appealing to their core values while avoiding any major credibility killers.
This like any other skill takes time and may feel awkward at first as you shift your communication style to increase your leadership effectiveness. Over time with practice, you will find that shifting style and behavior becomes more and more natural for you and eventually it will become part of what you do at an almost unconscious level.
Remember your receptivity to others often determines their receptivity to you!