Leadership can feel like a moving target. Managing across generational styles (Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z) can be confusing. Add to that the complexity of information, speed, and priorities, and you may quickly feel overwhelmed. How do you lead in such an environment?
My favorite definition of a leader is modified from Peter Drucker’s thinking, “A leader is someone who has followers.” I would add “without the use of authority.” The question is: How do you learn ways to get others to follow your lead, especially those who don’t report to you or who are not willing to follow?
First, you must look inward at yourself and your personality style. You may not identify as a “born leader,” but fear not! You can strengthen your leadership skills, regardless of your personality style. DISC Theory is a leadership tool to help you understand your strengths and areas for growth.
By identifying your primary traits using the four DISC personality styles (Dominant, Influential, Steady, Compliant), you can leverage your strengths, develop your secondary leadership factors and create strategies to partner with others by flexing your style. Here are the top four traits in which today’s leaders need to adopt from each personality style to thrive:
The pace in many organizations these days is focused on “agile,” “just in time” and “need it yesterday.” These leaders have a need to make decisions quickly.
Most people want authentic interactions at work. They respond to encouragement and enthusiasm. Building rapport over time makes it easier to convince someone to go along with your plan.
Successful people point to their routines as key to their leadership. The stability of a routine makes it possible for them to remain calm during times of crisis or conflict, and listen well to others.
We all want quick action, but not poorly executed. Leaders who dig into the details can enhance decision-making and deliver high-quality results.
Are you hesitant to use tools such as DISC? I get it. It’s not easy to take a realistic look at yourself. However, you’re reading this because you want to be a better leader, right? I have personally used the DISC personality system (I am a high (D) Dominant style) and by understanding behavioral tendencies of my leadership style, my eyes were opened to the ability to accomplish goals better when mentoring others of varying styles. I also noticed quite a few more people following me than with my previous approach. If you’re looking to develop your leadership skills, start with the PeopleKeys DISC Leadership report to give you and your team a language and framework to discuss and build better work outcomes.