The One Thing You’re Missing as a Leader
If there is one thing that leaders need not ignore, it is their blind spot. So you may ask yourself, “what is my blind spot?” If you are familiar with the four personality types described by the Greeks, I would like to share one main blind spot for each personality type.
For Cholerics: Relationships
Cholerics (or the D in the DISC system) are task-oriented. They want to see results. They like to be in control. They love being productive. And they want people on their team to do the same: no-nonsense work to move projects forward. They value loyalty. They don’t like drama or gossip. And you can count on them in emergencies.
As leaders, they have amazing strengths. But as with any strength, there comes a hidden blind spot along with it. Anyone who zeroes in on results and action, will be in danger of forgetting the people who are getting things done. For choleric leaders, their Achilles heel is relationships.
If they are not careful these leaders can struggle to win over hearts—and there can be no success if hearts are not seen and valued. If this is you, I know you can grow in this area. I have seen this happen in myself, people close to me, and on my team. You must determine to transcend your need to focus solely on production, and start seeing and valuing people.
For Melancholies: Action
Melancholies (or the C in the DISC system) are thinkers. They want perfection. They are thinkers. Planners. They like organization and being organized in their thinking and action. These people tend to be introspective, sensitive, and need to be by themselves a lot to heal.
As leaders, their thinking makes them great strategists. They approach forward progress with careful attentiveness. This great quality if not tempered, can lead to a proclivity to not move when movement is needed. Leaders’ actions should be determined by both a strong intuition mixed with analytical logic. Intuition is needed because facts cannot be obtained in many instances.
If you are a melancholy leader, I encourage you to get comfortable with the kind of risk that leads to action. I am not suggesting carelessness, recklessness, nor sloppiness, but willingness to take risks. Be aware that you tend to over-analyze every decision, because ultimately you seek perfection. While seeking excellence should be our aim, seeking perfection will lead us to mediocrity. When thinking is your strength and you make action its companion, you will reach great destinations.
For Phlegmatics: Confrontation
Phlegmatics (or the S in the DISC system) are steady and calm. They are peaceable and great listeners. Kind and non-assuming, these people are usually liked by all. My father was a phlegmatic. He was the kindest man I ever knew. Even before he was the pastor of the church, everyone I knew thought of him as a kind, fatherly figure.
As leaders, phlegmatics handle pressure and conflict with coolness. A large project list does not seem to get them off kilter. When you are on a team with a phlegmatic leader, you will likely feel nurtured and not threatened.
Problems occur when phlegmatic leaders avoid conflict. Their innate strength to be peace-loving and amicable often leads them to create a culture of peace at all costs. Often, I see these leaders struggle with saying what needs to be said, when it needs to be said. If that fits your personal inclination, I encourage you to first be aware of this potentially debilitating tendency, then begin learning skills to build up your ability to enter into confrontation when needed. Remember, don’t lose your kindness and gentleness. This is your strength. You just need to add and grow another set of skills to complement it.
For Sanguines: Focus
Sanguines (or the I in the DISC system) are passionate and fun. They are full of energy, talkative, the life of the party. Great communicators and motivators, these people are a pleasure to be around. But get ready for a show, and be prepared to give them attention. They are performers by nature. They love life, love to eat, love risk, and love change. They are often a tornado of emotions and passions. But they have a heart of gold. They are so helpful and hopeful. They will give you anything and everything they have.
Sanguines make amazing leaders. Everyone naturally likes being with them. People are drawn to their charisma, energy, zest for life, adventure and daring. They also have a natural ability to get your buy-in on almost anything by using charm and a friendly persistence.
Sanguine leaders have an issue when it comes to focus and following through. As they write their story of leadership, they need to be careful to grow in this area, otherwise they will end up with countless start-ups that were never completed. Thousands of ideas and attempts may lead these leaders and others to lose faith in their ability to see important missions through to successful completions. If this is you, you are a very capable leader. Have faith in your abilities. I just want to encourage you to work on learning skills of focus.
A Final Note
If you would like to read more about the four types of personalities, I encourage you to read Florence Littauer’s book Personality Plus. This book changed my life and opened my eyes by giving me a better insight into the incredibly fascinating area of the different types of personalities that make us unique. I will write more on this topic and provide additional resources to the Aspire community in the future.
Question: What is your predominant personality type?
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