What Do Others Know About Your Leadership Style That You Don’t?

If you want to become a better leader, the first thing you need to do is understand how you are currently leading.  How well do you know your leadership strengths and weaknesses?  What would others say about your leadership style, and how you go about leading your team?  If you don’t have a good sense of what the answers are, you should spend some time thinking about it.  As leaders get busy and rise in an organization, they often lose site of how they are perceived by those around them, and can be surprised to hear what others think of their style.

In a recent interview in the New York Times, The Best Scorecard Is The One You Keep On Yourself,  Charlotte Beers, the former chair and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, a self-described “friendly, Southern belle,” disclosed that she was devastated when a friend of hers revealed that a colleague had called Beers’ management style “menacing.”   Looking back at how she ran meetings, she realized she tended to end sessions on a threatening note, a habit she had inadvertently picked up from a boss earlier in her career.   Beers went on to point out that executives need to “not let someone [else] tell you who you are. Keep your own scorecard, and it has to include the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Benjamin Franklin once said “There are three things extremely hard:  steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”   But that was before the Internet made self-assessment tools readily available —  you don’t have to sit back and wonder about, or worse, be surprised by,  your leadership style.  Take a look at StrengthsFinder 2.0, the online assessment developed by Gallup that was first introduced in the bestselling 2001 management book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, and get about the task of understanding your strengths, so that you can improve your leadership.  What’s stopping you?


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