Natural born leadership is a fallacy. There is a set of personality traits that provide a great leadership foundation, but how one uses them determines how good a leader you will become and how many will follow you. Make the most of these traits and you will become a better leader, who combines your gifts and talents with practice and skills, but how do you do that when others have said you’re a natural. Here are three important ways:
The personality traits people often confuse with “natural born leaders” are the same traits of the personality preference known as Commander. (Not sure of your own personality preferences, take this quick, free, and very short online assessment. Complete your CORE Snapshot™ here) The Commander preference has specific needs and you need to know what they are to ensure they get met. If you meet your own needs of action, challenge, results, and a sense of control, among others, you will be less dependent on team members fulfilling them for you and less likely to experience frustration when others don’t demonstrate actions that meet your needs.
Slow people, those who take a long time to decide, those who don’t follow through and those who appear to have forgotten how to use their smarts or common sense may drive you nutso. These are all triggers and for a Commander preference to become a better leader, you want to look at these triggers objectively and ask a few questions. Is it worth your time and energy to get frustrated or bothered, or even angry? Is there something else you could be doing with that energy? Could you help them develop the skills they need to do their own job? Are you waiting for them to “get it” (meaning waiting for them to be more like you) or are you valuing who they are and how they do things?
One who is naturally dominant in the Commander personality preference is frequently called upon to lead. They are also often labeled as driven, competitive, direct, and sometimes aggressive. A growth mindset will help you to judge others less against your own self-imposed expectations, and focus on growing some new skills. Conserving your energy used in being frustrated with the behavior of others will give you a great source of continued focus on what you need to do to improve. Perhaps you work on your patience. Perhaps you resolve the tendency to over delegate and ignore the time it takes for others to complete a task. Perhaps you cease overloading your own list because you really believe daily that you can get it ALL done. These areas will trip up a Commander’s progressive growth and if you will proactively practice growth in these areas, more employees will follow you.
Personality traits are not new to the scene of leadership, but knowing about them and doing something about them are two different stories. If you know you’re a natural at leading, then you also know there are times when you’ve been called out for those very gifts that when stressed can impede how and how many you lead. For this, I’ve created an invaluable eBook on How Commanders Can Become Better Leaders. Read it for yourself, share it with your fellow Commanders and stay tuned for more information on the other preferences. In this eBook there are exercises, more information than will fit in one Monday Moment, and a plethora of guidance on how to make the most of your innate personality traits when it comes to developing your natural leadership skills to produce even better results!
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!