Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Relationship Advice For Extraverts & Introverts

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Several months ago, I spent eight days with a charming Extravert.

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As an Introvert myself having spent the past 25 years researching, teaching, and writing about personality type, I was very surprised at the feelings and reactions that came up for me during these eight days.  It reminded me of how important it is to understand the Energy behavior dimension of personality type.

Don’t get me wrong. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Extraverts.  They have that wonderful ability to be at ease in all situations that involve interaction with other people.  They can walk up to anyone with total ease and introduce themselves and not experience that gut wrenching feeling that perhaps they’re annoying or interrupting someone. Extraverts seem to exhibit a love for all mankind.  We Introverts feel that same love for all mankind, it’s just that we don’t show it.  It’s all inside.

By the end of this eight-day period I was exhausted from being “on” all of the time!  The mistake I made was not taking time out for myself during the day to “recharge” my batteries.  It took me several weeks to recover.  Adding to the intensity of the situation was the fact that I was just getting to know this individual which, of course, added to the energy drain.

I’m thankful for this experience, however, because it reminded me of how important it is, in fact vital, to understand the difference between Extraverts and Introverts and give ourselves permission to “take care” of our energy.

Without this understanding you could think something is the matter with each other when, in fact, it is completely because of the differences in how you “gather your energy.”

This knowledge is vital for couples to understand!  Many people marry without ever knowing about one another’s personality type and then are surprised when they have conflicts.  Most of the conflicts can be solved by applying a knowledge and understanding of one another’s type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Measure The Mix – Teambuilding 101

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Excerpts from The TYPE Reporter, Issue No. 4.  The TYPE Reporter is a newsletter about your personality type, and how it influences you in all the stages of life.  You can subscribe on the website or by contacting Susan Scanlon, INFJ, Editor, 703-764-5370.

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HOW TO MEASURE THE MIX – By Susan Scanlon    

I decided to do an issue on team building because I’d heard that term used often among the people who take the MBTI into the workplace. There’s no doubt about it, teamwork is a popular subject in organization development circles. But teamwork was not an idea that excited me at first. In my fantasies, the individual does great things, not the group. I used to cheer on the heroes in the novels of Ayn Rand, who triumphed against that symbol of mediocrity – the committee.

In the few experiences I’ve had working with groups, the argument and discussion went on and on, very little got done, and I was so busy agreeing or disagreeing with others that there was no chance for me to listen to what my own best thoughts were. I’m an American and an Introvert, so it wasn’t going to be easy to convince me that I could produce a better product if I had a wide mix of people messing around with it first. But I’ve listened now to many team members and team consultants and I realize that they’re talking about a different kind of team than Ayn Rand’s or the groups I’ve worked with. They’re talking about a team that can enhance the effectiveness of the individual, that really does improve the final product, and is absolutely essential for success in this very complex and competitive world.

They never played down the difficulty of creating a team that is diverse yet able to work together well, but they made teamwork sound just as dramatic as tales of individual heroism, and worth the work. From dozens of interviews, my team and I selected six team stories. These stories illustrated some of the more common problems a team might have, and how the MBTI can help. We looked for messages in these stories, and from the messages we came up with six questions you might ask yourself about your own team.

                 The Mix —  How To Make It Work

1. Does your team have a good mix of types? Fill in a type table with the types of our team members. Are all the eight preferences represented? Do you have at least one member who is an ST, SF, NT and NF?

2. If your team does not have a good mix of types, who’s missing? Don’t stop at saying you’re missing an ST. Make a list of all the kinds of input an ST might bring to your team. List the information that is not available to the team.

3. If your team does not have a good mix of types, what can you do to compensate for it? You can hire people in, you can seek outside opinions, or you can invent a team member and think for him. Would an N be able to see the big picture in all of this? Would an S be able to see a practical use for it? What else would a P want to talk about before we make a decision?

4. Does your team have a positive attitude toward differences? Very often, just the new perspective of the type theory is enough to smooth out a team’s problems considerably.

5. Does everyone on your team contribute their preferences? Are all the Intuitives really sharing their Intuitive perceptions? Do the S’s feel free to express their doubts that something will work, or are they afraid of being called a stick in the mud?  If our team isn’t benefiting from all the viewpoints represented, they need to work on creating an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Or they can try to deliberately draw out people’s preferences. (“I need to run this by you for your Sensing” – says the manager.)

6. Is your team leader open to the contribution of all the members? The team leader can have an enormous influence on whose opinion gets heard and whose opinion gets acted on. It’s important that the team have an impartial leader, or even better, one who knows the positive potential of each member and can draw the group’s attention to that.

 

The Five Relationship Attributes Necessary For Successful Leadership

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others. Each one of us is required to exhibit leadership capabilities every day, in our

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professional and personal lives –

a mother inspiring her children to do their best in school; an HR Manager attempting to lift the morale of the company; a politician asking for our vote; a president of a corporation asking management to increase productivity. It doesn’t matter what the size of the organization is, understanding your personal leadership strengths can assist in accomplishing your goals.

In a study of Leadership, Emotional Intelligence and Personality Type, conducted in 2004 by Richmond, Rollin and Brown, the findings were:

  • The five most important leadership attributes were identified as Vision, Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Execution and People Development.
  • Emotional Intelligence attributes are essential to successful leadership, especially the relationship management attributes – Vision, Relationship Building and People Development.
  • Of the remaining attributes, all the Emotional Intelligence competencies are more important than all the general leadership attributes, such as External/Market Orientation, Financial Acumen, and Planning.

The Center for Creative Leadership in studying why managers derail on their way to becoming executives found four themes that emerged:

  1. Problems with interpersonal relationships
  2. Failure to meet business objectives
  3. Failure to build and lead a team
  4. Inability to change or adapt during a transition

In short, difficulties with – relationship management – attributes (vision, relationship building and people development) were identified as prime contributors to the failure of otherwise promising executive careers.

Personality Type and Leadership

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator identifies common differences among normal people.  The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent – based on differences in the way individuals prefer to perceive information and reach conclusions (Myers, et al, 1998).

Research shows that personality type explains some of the variation in leadership behavior and perceived effectiveness.  A brief summary includes:

  • Leaders come from all 16 personality types, however, nearly every study of leaders by type finds TJs over-represented relative to other types.
  • Research shows that leaders of different types focus on different aspects of their roles and also choose to handle the same activities differently.

Leadership studies usually indicate that most corporate leaders exhibit TJ preferences. For example, 58% of participants in Center for Creative Leadership programs prefer TJ (MBTI Manual, p. 327). TJ leaders are considered tough minded, executive, analytical leaders who communicate their confidence in the primacy of focusing on logical outcomes. TJs may be seen by others as too quick to judge and act, and tactless in their style of communication.   (MBTI Manual pps 52-53)

Implications of these studies for Leaders

Leaders can use the findings from the above studies to gain the following insights into what their executives, and peers may be expecting from them:

  • Assess and increase your effectiveness in building relationships, developing people, and thinking strategically.
  • To excel at the highly-ranked relationship management attributes, develop your Emotional Intelligence capabilities such as Self-Awareness, Empathy, and Adaptability.
  • Consider your effectiveness in providing vision and inspiration, executing work to plan, taking initiative, and fostering teamwork.
  • When seeking to influence others, be aware of differences in what each of you values in leaders.

Leadership Styles of the 16 Personality Types

Type: Motivates Others By:
ISTJ Providing precise, accurate and timely information
ISFJ Presenting factual information personally to influence people to understand the job that needs to be done
INTJ Describing end result desired, by connecting actions, intentions and desired outcomes
INFJ Building enduring relationships through cooperation and acting on values that promote well-being
ISTP Using tangible goals to get things moving
INTP Talking about theory and discussing outcomes
ISFP Encouraging others to take action in an easy-going manner
INFP Creating alternative solutions
ESTP Quickly acting to solve problems for others
ESFP Relating to people at a personal level to get them involved
ENTP Using their problem-solving skills
ENFP Engaging with others to share ideas, & brainstorming
ESTJ Using specific facts and a systematic method
ENTJ Systematic & logical action; ideas and global issues
ESFJ Practical, hands-on action, moving toward completion of a project
ENFJ Energizing with their assertive and personable nature

Knowing yourself well and understanding how others function is fundamental to building strong relationships and effective leadership. Leadership is about behavior and the psychology of leadership as theorized by psychological type allows individuals to recognize their demonstrated behaviors as expressions of their type and to apply type theory as a way to enhance leader development.

Clearly, based on the stated desired leadership qualities, it’s easy to understand the importance a thorough knowledge of personality type can provide. Type is about relationship management and people development. To understand and apply type theory is to be able to motivate and lead others – including ourselves.

 

The Effect of Personality Type on Team Performance

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Team approach to IS development                                                                                         

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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the impact of personality type on team productivity and to propose a model that can be used to analyze the personality-type composition of an information system (IS) development team.

Expected benefits of successful teams include increased motivation, greater task commitment, higher levels of performance, ability to withstand stress, more innovative solutions, and decreased development time.

Ineffective teams may be the product of inappropriate team composition. Deciding to use a team approach is only the first step. Great care must be exercised in building the team to ensure its ultimate effectiveness. There are a number of pitfalls involving group dynamics that can undermine a team’s effectiveness. Bradley and Hebert propose a model of the impact of the personality-type composition of a team on overall team performance. The model applies personality-type theory to the team building process and then illustrates the importance of this theory by evaluating a case example of two software development teams. One of the teams was considered to be very productive by management, while the other team’s performance was judged to be unsatisfactory.

This case study is valuable because it clearly demonstrates the influences of personality type on two teams that are comparable in age, IQ, problem-solving ability, gender, and task responsibility. The task of IS development is appropriate to the discussion because it is of such relative complexity, especially with the use of multi-functional teams, that its successful accomplishment requires a high level of harmony among the team members.

Within this paper Bradley and Hebert discuss the influence of personality-type composition on team performance. Four critical factors are discussed in the context of successful IS development teams, followed by a discussion of personality types using Jungian psychological-type theory as a framework. A theoretical model of preferences for team composition is derived by applying personality-type theory to the four factors. The influences of personality type on the two software development teams’ performance are discussed and conclusions and recommendations are presented concerning team personality-type composition and its influence on team performance.

Critical factors for effective teams

An increasingly popular example of the team approach to IS development is joint application design (JAD). JAD is an example of representative design which involves user representatives in the decisions required to formulate an IS. One of the basic dimensions of team effectiveness involves individual differences. The ideal team should be highly diversified in the talent and knowledge each member contributes, while maintaining open, non-threatening communication.

JAD refers to the inclusion of members of the user departments along with the IS specialists on the development team. From JAD literature, three characteristics of productive teams that are strongly related to individual differences seem to dominate: effective leadership, intra-team communication, and group cohesion. Although all three of these characteristics are partially dependent on the personality types of the individuals involved, personality is rarely directly included in the discussions. The four dominant individual difference characteristics of productive teams – Leadership, Communication, Cohesion, Heterogeneity – can be combined, based on the common thread of personality type, to form an evaluative model of the impact of personality type on team performance.

Effective leadership is an especially important factor in the success of an IS development team. A knowledgeable, assertive leader must not only be available and properly trained in group dynamics, but must also be the type of person who can lead people who represent different functional areas and different levels of management. They must control the team meetings, drawing everyone into the discussions until a consensus is reached. The leader must also be able to keep the team on track and quickly resolve conflicts. These qualities suggest a person who is aware of the different personality types and how each type influences overall team performance.

Intra-team communication is another critical factor that influences IS development team success. A problem with intra-team communication may manifest itself in several ways.

Cohesion has also been identified as a crucial ingredient in team effectiveness. A cohesive team will demonstrate a spirit of togetherness and support for one another that helps team members quickly resolve conflicts.

The personality type heterogeneity of team members and its influence on successful group performance concludes that for complex problem solving, teams made up of different types of individuals with a variety of skills, knowledge, abilities and perspectives are more effective than groups that are more homogeneous. A diversity in skills and knowledge combined with a balance of personality types is desirable for effective teams.

Certain personality types are more accepting of others and more willing to consider different perspectives. Certain types are risk-averse while others are stimulated by risk-taking. Certain types are motivated by the challenge of an unsolved problem, while others are easily overwhelmed and slip into inaction. Certain types make natural leaders while others are more comfortable as followers. Certain personality types are natural communicators while others find it very difficult to express themselves. Each personality type, however, has a positive contribution to make to the overall effectiveness of the team therefore a balance of personality types should be sought.

A model of the effect of personality type on team performance

In general, the best leader is an ESTJ or an ENTJ, depending on the task involved. The extroverted leader will readily communicate directions and organizational information.

Intra-team communication will be more natural for the extrovert than the introvert, the sensing than the intuitive, and the thinking than the feeling personality types. Extroverts are natural communicators and too many extroverts can result in confusion as they interrupt each other to express their views. Sensing types perceive the facts and can easily organize their thought for communication to the other team members. Intuitives tend to develop more complex ideas that are more difficult to communicate. Thinking types are prone to making quick judgments and immediately verbalizing their thoughts while feeling types may not express their true thoughts in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

Cohesion is affected most by thinking versus feeling. The thinking team members, in their haste to express their judgments, often offend the more sensitive team members. The feeling member, will be constantly aware of the esprit de corps and do what they can to maintain harmony. Cohesion does not mean the absence of conflict. A cohesive team is able to resolve conflicts in a manner that results in the synergism that makes team work valuable.

Team heterogeneity refers to the number of each personality type on the team. Each type has something positive to contribute. In fact, usually a large degree of psychological homogeneity causes problems. The homogeneous team may reach consensus faster, however, the results will not be as innovative as they will be with a more heterogeneous team. In IS development, each personality type should have roughly equal representation.

A case example

This case example of two IS development teams serves as an excellent illustration of loss of productivity due to a poor combination of personality types.

A medium-sized software development company in the Southeastern USA makes extensive use of teams in the development of IS software. Company management noticed a distinct difference in the productivity of two major teams. The two teams were given assignments of developing information systems of comparable complexity, yet team 1 took almost twice as long as team 2 in the development process and produced an IS of only moderate quality. Team 2 finished their project ahead of schedule and produced a high-quality system. Management noticed that the members of team 1 did not communicate well (misunderstandings as well as failure to communicate) and seemed to have great difficulty getting organized.

The teams were not different in terms of demographics and basic ability levels and were performing comparable tasks. Why was their performance so different? The personality-type composition of the two teams explains the differences in team performance.

Personality-type composition and team performance

In this case example, the two teams were judged to be different in their performance level. Team 2 performed at a higher level than team 1.  The MBTI types of the two groups were analyzed to identify potential differences in personality type. It is important to have diversity and balance in the personality types of various group members. Team 2 (the more successful team) was more well balanced than team 1. Team 1 had 80% introverts and 20% extroverts compared to team 2’s equal percentage of 50% of both types. In team situations, introverts often tend to keep information to themselves and are less communicative in meetings. Team 1’s large percentage of introverts may have inhibited successful intra-team communication.

Team 2 also had a better balance in the type combinations of information intake (S/N) and decision making (T/F). The combinations are particularly important to effective teams because much of a development team’s work relates to receiving and processing information to make decisions about the particular system being developed. The percentages of S versus N were comparable, with team 1 having 60% Ns and 40% Ss, while team 2 had 57% Ns and 42% Ss. Sensing types like to focus on the details and may tend to miss the larger picture. Intuitive types may love the concept of teamwork but may have difficulty putting the concept into action. They are much more comfortable envisioning the larger picture and theorizing about what the system will do than with getting busy on the details of putting the system together.

Team 1 had only had 20% Fs, while team 2 had 42% F types. The difference between thinkers and feelers can cause major problems for effective team building. Thinkers are primarily concerned with accomplishing the task, while feelers are concerned with how well people work together. This basic difference in task versus people orientation suggests that the T/F difference is among the primary influences on a team’s esprit de corps. This suggests that a successful team is one that balances task orientation (the T type) with the feelings of group members who are accomplishing that task (F types).

A major reason for team 1’s lack of success could have been caused by the preponderance of Ts who pushed ahead to complete the task while giving less attention to user needs as well as the needs of other F types on the team. Team 2’s high percentage of F types could have facilitated more attention being given to the needs and the feelings of other team members.

Some team members prefer to approach problem solving in an orderly, systematic manner while others prefer less structured approaches. Team members with opposing preferences will have great difficulty avoiding conflicts in their communications. The T types would be focused on getting the specific jobs done, while the F types would be more concerned with group harmony, which could cause problems in deciding how to proceed on the project. Team 1, which was composed of a large percentage of T types, may have raced ahead to get jobs done without everyone being on board, while team 2’s larger percentage of F types may have helped them focus more attention on group harmony.

Team 1 had a better balance of J and P types (70% J, 30% P) than team 2 (100% J). However, too much diversity may actually inhibit successful team performance. The J/P difference, at least on the surface, is the key to team success or failure. Js have a need for closure, to move on to other important objectives, while Ps have an unceasing need to consider other alternatives and to make seat-of-the-pants assessments. Too many Js could influence the rush to stay on schedule and they might not carefully consider all of the potential alternatives. In contrast, Ps have difficulty staying on schedule because they are taking so much time to consider all the alternatives. In a complex project that has many alternatives to consider that would slow down the decision-making process, as long as team 2 considered all of the alternatives carefully, they would probably be more apt to stay on schedule than team 1.

Leadership is an important component of JAD teams. In the case example, the unsuccessful team’s (team 1) leader was an INFP type, while the successful team’s (team 2) leader was an ESFJ. Team 1’s introvert leader may have withheld information and sought to shorten meetings because being with people drains an introvert’s energy. Team 2’s extrovert leader may have been more effective in stimulating group communication and in involving all group members in the process. Team 1’s intuitive (N) leader may have been in favor of the team concept, but unable to transfer that support into action. In contrast, team 2’s sensing (S) leader may have been more effective in keeping the group on task. Team 1’s feeling (F) type leader may have clashed with the large percentage of group members who were thinkers (Ts). This F leader may have been focusing more attention on group harmony rather than getting the job done, which could have frustrated the T types. In contrast, while team 2’s leader is also an F type, there were a larger percentage of F types on the team who could offer support for the leader in emphasizing group harmony as an important factor. Team 1’s leader was a perceiver (P), a person who has difficulty in obtaining closure on important issues to move on to other important tasks. Team 2’s leader was a judger (J), which was consistent with the other team members.

Team 1’s large percentage of introverts, thinkers and perceivers may have resulted in less-effective group communication, while team 2’s large percentage of extroverts, feeling types and judgers may have facilitated group communication.

Team composition of personality types does appear to be an important explanatory variable for differences in team performance. This case example suggests that in general, diversity and balance in team member personality types is needed to produce successful team performance. Team 2’s greater balance of extroverts and introverts, sensing types and intuitive types, and thinking and feeling types appears to have influenced successful team performance. Team 2’s large percentage of judging types also ensured that the project was completed in a timely manner.

Conclusion and recommendations

The case example of IS development teams presented here suggests that personality types are an important factor in successful team performance. Organizations that desire to develop effective teams need to analyze the personality-type compositions of these groups and help team members understand their own personal attributes as well as appreciate the contribution of the other team members. The model presented in this paper is a valuable tool in accomplishing this analysis.

Consider the following questions in analyzing teams using the MBTI:

  1. Does the team have the best types of people to get the job done? The type of job being done should have some influence on the types of people who are selected to be on a team. For complex tasks such as product development, a balanced team of opposing personality types is needed. The more complex the task, the more important the balance is.
  2. Are the right jobs within the team being done by the most effective types of people? Is the personality type of each team member compatible with the requirement of the area of responsibility? Are they using their abilities most effectively by being in the place where their contribution will make a difference? In a team situation, the team leader is very important. Personality type should be considered strongly when choosing the team leader. Team leaders should demonstrate the personality-type preferences that enable them to involve others in team communication, to be sensitive to the needs of all team members, and to keep the team on schedule to complete the task.
  3. How will the team evaluate progress towards its goal? This question suggests a balanced diversity of all types on the team, particularly judgers, perceivers, feelers, and introverts. Judgers help keep the team on schedule, while perceivers ensure that multiple options are considered before proceeding ahead. Feelers ensure that someone’s idea is not dismissed out of hand and that group harmony is considered in making decisions. Introverts are needed to offer internal reflection of what items are being communicated orally in a meeting. They need time to think through what has been discussed and to give their opinions before decisions are made.
  4. Is there a team type that can effectively determine when the project is completed? When should development stop and implementation begin? Such personality types as extroverts, intuitives and judgers are particularly helpful in answering this question. Extroverts prefer to get issues out in the open so they can be discussed and resolved. Intuitives provide a holistic view of the entire organization and provide their perceptive assessment of whether the system is doing what it was intended to do. Judgers help keep everyone on track and offer their assessment of whether the task has been completed.

This model offers important insights into the influence of personality-type composition on team performance. It is important for the manager to remember that the MBTI measures preferences. Individuals can adopt other personality types if they are aware of personality-type differences and make a concerted effort to change. However, these individuals will need to be monitored very carefully.

Team performance is at least partially related to the team’s personality-type composition and the previous case example illustrates this relationship and serves as a reminder to managers to consider carefully personality type in determining team composition.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.

(Summary of an article in the Journal of Management Development, Vol. 16, No. 5, 1997, pp 337-353, MCB University Press, 0262-1711; by John H. Bradley and Frederic J. Hebert, East Carolina University, Greenville, South Carolina, USA.)

                                                                        

 

Servant Leadership

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

“Is Servant Leadership the answer to the “recession”?    

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Once I told a client that the difference between their firm and a closely related sister firm they are associated with, is humility.

“Your firm’s leadership has humility and has truly put it to practice in their interaction with their clients and employees.”  What is the definition of humility? Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary lists descriptive words such as, absence of pride, having or showing a consciousness of one’s shortcomings, unpretentious. When I shared my opinion my own definition was, not being a know-it-all, teachable, and approachable.

Imagine my elation when a few days later I received this article about Ken Blanchard, the One Minute Manager himself, and who truly put Leadership Training on the map, by Training Zone about Servant Leadership requiring humility. Humility is such a powerful, important quality, and no one expresses its power in leadership qualities better than Ken Blanchard. Therefore, I’d like to share portions of his interview with you.

What does this have to do with personality-type? Servant leaders learn as much as they can about the people they supervise. They get to know, trust and love them. One of the best ways to do this is by understanding the strengths of their employees. And, that understanding is easily achieved by learning about the four-letter personality type of the people we work with. As you read this article, please note that servant leaders help people win through teaching and coaching them to do their best. Knowledge of personality type theory gives you the skills to be able to teach and coach people to do their best.

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“Servant leaders are humble people who don’t think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. They don’t deny their power, they just realize it passes through them, not from them.” (Ken Blanchard-www.kenblanchard.com)

The idea that leaders and managers must serve their people if they are to create highly successful organizations is not new. Ken Blanchard – a high profile supporter of the servant leadership concept – explains why leading with humility could be the key to surviving and thriving during the current economic crisis. If you want to survive and thrive during this crisis, you need to first make sure you are a servant leader. In tough times and in good times, the first question you need to ask yourself is why are you leading? Are you here to serve, or be served?

Servant leadership was first introduced by Bob Greenleaf in the 1960’s, at that time, a top executive with telecommunications giant AT&T. Although it is now far more accepted as an effective management principle, the idea that leaders and managers must serve their people if they were to create highly successful organizations was entirely new at that time. Servant leadership flew in the face of traditional management practice which concerned itself with directing, controlling, and supervising employees’ activities – of playing the role of judge, critic and evaluator of their efforts.

Mr. Blanchard emphasizes that in a shrinking economy, this kind of hierarchical leadership is even less effective. “The last thing we need to develop are still more organizations where colleagues spend most of their time trying to please the boss rather than accomplish the organization’s goals and visions; where people try to protect themselves rather than to help move the organization in its desired direction; where people get promoted only on their upward influencing skills and not their actual achievements. It is precisely these kind of organizational cultures that have got us into this mess, cultures where a what’s in it for me? mentality has prevailed, and where longer term ethical considerations have been sacrificed at the altar of short-term greed and the exploitation of the less fortunate. This downturn should be a wakeup call for each and every leader and manager. There is no better time to start grounding ourselves in humility, no better time to start thinking about how we can make a real difference on this planet and focus on the common good. Now is the time to become a servant leader.”

The qualities of a servant leader

Servant leaders don’t fear losing face by making ethical as well as purely financed-based decisions, or fail to recognize and promote talent at a lower level in case they later find their positions threatened. On the contrary, they are confident and skilled enough to set powerful visions, build up people at the frontline and put more power into their hands, so they can really make a difference to the customer experience and help get business booming from the bottom up. They are humble people who don’t think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. They don’t deny their power, they just realize it passes through them, not from them.

Servant leaders seek to help people win through teaching and coaching them to do their best. They listen to their people, praise them, support them, and redirect them when they deviate from their goals. They find out what their people need to be successful. Rather than focusing on self-interest, on what will please them, servant leaders are interested in making a difference in the lives of their people and, in the process, impacting the organization for the better.

Sadly, too many top managers still think leading in this way will lead to mutiny. Instead of becoming successful servant leaders they become the opposite; they become self-serving leaders, who ultimately set themselves and their organizations up for failure because of their destructive influence. Servant leaders avoid this destructive influence by turning the traditional hierarchical pyramid upside-down in their organizations. This inspires and excites people to live according to their organization’s vision, because when they see leaders taking on coaching roles to build self-esteem, encouraging individual growth and giving people the tools they need to deliver that vision, people are more motivated, more responsible, and far more loyal. Everyone wins.

Becoming a servant leader

Ask yourself: “What is my self-worth based on?” Self-serving leaders base their self-worth on how much money they make, the recognition they get for their work, and their power and status. And while there is nothing wrong with making good money, and with getting power and status and recognition as a result of what you do, you’re in trouble if you confuse those things with who you really are, because then you are always going to need more and more of them.

Servant leadership is about recognizing that you are someone who needs to let go of your ego, and recognize that you are entitled to self-esteem irrespective of your salary or status. It is about getting up 45 minutes earlier, so you can take time to get in touch with who you are and what kind of person you want to be. Then you’ll have a better chance of living that vision that day. It is about developing the habit of getting a small group of people to be honest with you, and allowing them to tell you when you’re being stupid, just in case.

Finally, servant leadership is about having the courage to let your people bring their brains to work and giving them the power to help deliver your organization’s vision and values. Catch them doing things right and praise them. And remember that profit is the applause you get for taking care of your people, taking care of your customers and doing a great job!

 

Why I Became Involved in Writing and Teaching About Personality Type

Saturday, October 29th, 2016
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It occurred to me recently that I haven’t shared why I became involved in creating products and training about                   personality type.

In late 1987, I was reintroduced to personality type through a company called True Colors which at that time was located in Laguna Beach, California.  True Colors had a terrific product that teaches about one aspect of personality type – Temperament Theory – using four cards with symbols of the four functions – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling. This exposure prompted my husband Roy and I to start studying more about personality type and we decided to create products that are based on type theory created by Dr. Carl Jung and expanded through the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

We chose to concentrate on first understanding yourself, and then quickly move people towards understanding everyone else because we felt that is where the real power of type lies – understanding the other guy/gal and relating to him/her based on that person’s preferences/comfort zone.  We approached the business of developing these products as a mission  and invested a lot of our time, sincere effort and finances in the product line.

And now, 28 years later I can still say that it thrills me to conduct a training because I always receive comments from the people attending about how valuable the information is to them and that they now understand why the relationships in their lives are the way that they are and what to do to improve those relationships. This is really important to me because my type, INTJ, is driven to make a difference that assists people in a real-world way.

I get so excited everytime someone orders The PEOPLE Process products from my website. I take the entire business personally. It is a big deal to me. It’s a thrill to know that even companies in Australia, Canada, England and Ireland, are using my products to work together better on their teams.

 

 

Explore The Benefits Of Humility In Business

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

“Leadership humility is rare and doesn’t necessarily enjoy the recognition it deserves,” says Wikus Van Vuuren, a director at GIMT.  “Humility is unfortunately often perceived as a weakness in business when, in fact, it can be a tremendous asset.”

“Humble leaders who openly understand and develop their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths often create environments that encourage people to grow, which in turn grows the organization,” he says.

“Some of the most successful organizations worldwide have leaders who inconspicuously stand out due to their humble nature, rather than their arrogance and flamboyance,” Van Vuuren says.

“Indeed, the leader who is humble never allows the power of his position to cloud his judgment. He respects the unique contribution individuals have to make, and does not get stuck on their perceived weaknesses,” he adds.

“One of the greatest strengths of humble leaders is that they never assume they know all the answers and allow people to explain things to them. They look for the opportunity to learn and use every opportunity to make others feel valued.”

“Apart from personal issues, there is no real harm in letting people know what you view as your strengths and weaknesses.  A good step would be to implement a system where you can get direct feedback from your executive team, your clients, your staff and even people in your personal circle. While this system will create an open and honest company culture, it will also contribute significantly to your own personal growth.”

Van Vuuren says you should connect with your manager, peers and those that report to you.  “You will make them feel more comfortable about exploring their own opportunities for development.”

“Honest leaders are also good listeners,” he says.  “Do you have a tendency, when someone starts explaining something, to interrupt them to make sure they know that you already know what they are talking about? The next time this happens, try something new. Listen. Let them finish their explanation.”

“Ask lots of questions, validate them, then add your comments.”

“In the act of being humble, you make others feel important and valued,” Van Vuuren said.

“That is the gift of the humble leader. Besides, it is more refreshing and empowering being around humble people than inflated egos.”

(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.)

 

The Surprising Results Of Servant Leadership

Friday, June 24th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

Guest Post by: Lee Ellis – As originally seen at: www.linked2Leadership.com    

As a POW in Vietnam, I was typically the junior ranking and youngest person in my cell block.  This meant that I was always a follower and never a formal leader.  I used to think that this meant that I didn’t have influence.

But in retrospect, I see that I did have influence. And one way it came was through being a joyful doer

Gettin’ Busy

The truth is that I felt better when I was involved in the action so I stepped forward to do whatever needed to be done – clean the dirty latrine, sweep the floor, or deliver a very important message under dangerous circumstances. The lesson I learned was that serving and doing all the little things that others might avoid brings respect and ultimately influence.

And, this type of servant leadership made an impact after I returned to continue my full-time military career.

Even though I was behind my peers after being away, this leadership tactic was a primary factor in making up lost time and being promoted to a senior officer.

‘The lesson I learned was that serving and doing all the little things that others might avoid brings respect and ultimately influence.’

Young and Hungry to Serve

I had not thought about this lately until last week while interacting with a group of college students (Air Force ROTC cadets) in San Antonio at the Air Education and Training Command’s 2012 Symposium. The Air Force Association (AFA), cohost for this event, had invited a number of Air Force ROTC Cadets – all college students to assist with security and logistics at the Exposition in the convention center.

Since I was operating out of the AFA booth, my host volunteered these impressive young folks to help in any way I needed.

They were all bright and impressive young folks and it was soon obvious why they were chosen to attend this high-level event as guests of AFA and the Air Force!  The senior-ranking cadet took charge and managed the most important job of door security, insuring a regular rotation of sentries from 6:30 AM until 7:00 PM.  Other cadets helped me with the book signing by carting in books, stuffing bookmarks, collecting money, and scanning credit cards.

Rising to the Top

Watching them and listening to them carefully for a day and a half, I realized that even in this elite group, some stood out above their peers due to their willingness to get involved and commit totally to the task at hand.

All the students were sharp and helpful, but the ones that I’ll remember best are those who stepped forward first and then remained eagerly engaged until the job was done.

They won my heart and gained my highest respect – and that is powerful influence.

I appreciate the opportunity to be reminded of this lesson – that joyfully serving others is a powerful way to gain influence – even when you are young and have no position or formal power. It’s also a reminder that we are never too old or too important to learn lessons about influence. After all, influence is what leadership is all about.

Regardless of your age or level of influence, how does this story impact your day-to-day work? With pure motives, what acts of service can you do today that will make far-reaching impact in the future? The only way to find out is to just do it!  And if you have a servant leadership story, share it in the comments section below. I would love to hear your story!

**********

Be sure and read Lee’s book:  Leading with Honor: – Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi

Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton

Lee Ellis is founder and president of Leadership Freedom LLC and FreedomStar Media.
He is a leadership consultant, keynote speaker, and author in the areas of teambuilding, executive development, and assessments.

                              

A Great Destroyer Of Teamwork – The fundamental Attribution Error

Friday, May 27th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

We human beings have a tendency to falsely attribute the negative behaviors of others to their character, while attributing our own negative behaviors to environmental factors.

In other words, if I see a woman being impatient with her children at the grocery store and giving

them a swat,    I think, “that is a mean woman.” While, when my own kids are driving me crazy and arguing with me  and I give them a swat, I think, “I’ve got some really unruly children.” 

We tend to like to believe that we do bad things because of the situations we are in, but somehow we assume that others do bad things because they are predisposed to being bad.

In the same way, we often attribute other people’s success to their environment and our own success to our character.  That’s because we like to believe that we are inherently good and talented, while others are merely lucky, beneficiaries of good fortune.

This fundamental attribution error often creates misunderstanding and distrust among team members.  By getting to know one another better and understanding our personality tendencies, team members can often avoid this problem.

Personality-type training can eliminate the “Fundamental Attribution Error.”

 

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) & Personality Type

Friday, May 20th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence                 

  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional management –  being aware of your emotions and how you play those out
  • Motivation –  being able to defer gratification
  • Interpersonal sensitivity – empathy with other people
  • Ability to influence others
  • Intuitiveness –  the ability to make a decision when you don’t have all the data by drawing on deep experience
  • Consciousness –  that is linked to integrity“Emotional intelligence (EQ) is really a combination of a few things,” says Professor Malcolm J. Higgs.  “What makes you do what you do what you do?  What are the consequences?  What happens to your behaviors? If you are angry you can’t change being angry but you can understand that you become irrational or deal badly with others when you are angry. It’s understanding all that, and based on that understanding, having the ability to be able to do something about it,” he explains.“Part of it is, for want of a better word, self-awareness: Let me be self-aware, let me know how my emotions impact on my behaviors. Secondly, let me try and manage that and use that knowledge to become more effective and the third piece is to understand how other people react to situations and why they may be behaving the way they do and then try to adapt my behavior to try and take that into account,” he says.

    Successful leaders tend to be equipped with strong social skills and, in fact, a wide body of research shows that leaders have high levels of EQ, but not all entrepreneurs do. People won’t develop EQ unless they want to or are motivated to do so. It’s not a matter of having or not having EQ – you just need to want to improve. EQ training is about understanding people, and getting them on your side through influence and persuasion.

    Emotional intelligence is a term used to describe a complex ability to regulate your impulses, empathize with others, and persist and be resilient in the face of obstacles. Developing your emotional intelligence will help you enhance your leadership abilities, enrich your relationships, extend your influence, and expand the personal resources you can call on to manage life’s mental demands.

    An in-depth study and thorough understanding of psychological type can aid in the development of your emotional intelligence. Psychological type, as developed by Dr. Carl Jung, explores people’s preferences for four mental processes – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling – and their tendency to focus more on the outer (Extraverted) or inner (Introverted) world. These mental processes and orientations work in a dynamic way to influence what people see and evaluate in life, and this dynamic affects all their choices and actions.

    When you learn to appropriately access the eight mental processes that make up the model of psychological type, you achieve a level of understanding that offers a practical way to expand your emotional intelligence by enabling you to become more conscious of choices you can make to be effective. The mental processes of Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling differ markedly when Extraverted and Introverted. These differences result in the eight mental functions we use to take in information and decide how to respond to that information. Our preferences among these eight mental functions are what produce our type. The four letter code gives us direction about our preferences.

    These eight areas of awareness represent the eight mental functions of psychological type. Getting in touch with your use of these eight aspects of your mental operations is a major step toward greater self-awareness and interpersonal awareness, which enriches your emotional intelligence. We each use all these processes in Extraverted and Introverted forms, but we tend to rely most heavily on our dominant and auxiliary, or our most preferred, functions.

    Using some of the functions comes more naturally to you, but part of developing your type involves being able to access each of these functions in the appropriate situation. Doing so enables you to increase the range of behaviors available, representing a significant step toward greater personal efficacy and emotional intelligence.

    These eight functions make up the engine of your personality. They provide the source of analysis, reaction, adjustment, and stability in your character on which you can depend. The most complete depiction of these eight functions is in the dynamic relationship that exists each moment in the exchange of energy between you and those around you.

    Personality, emotional intelligence, and performance are interdependent factors in your daily experience. When you have an expanded emotional intelligence and a balanced personality, you have a healthier lifestyle, stronger relationships, and overall greater satisfaction and performance in your chosen work. Studies conclude that strong emotional intelligence among leaders aids employee retention, productivity, and performance. Those leaders who consistently exhibit sensitivity to the range of needs and individual differences in their organizations get the best performance results