How Personal Leadership Development Will Land You the Corner Office
You have probably heard the statement, "If something is not growing and changing, it becomes stagnant, begins to decline, and may even die." This statement is especially true when you consider the effects of personal leadership development on the quest to land the corner office. You must be ever growing, ever changing, and ever improving your leadership influence. Leadership training must become a natural part of your daily life if your end goal is success.
Personal leadership development begins with leading yourself well. In order to lead yourself well, it is necessary to understand yourself. What is your personality type? What are the tendencies and traits that help you grow or hold you back? (Our simple and free personality profile test can help you determine this) This knowledge will focus your personal leadership development and guide you to becoming a more influential leader!
Brief Overview of the Four Personality Types:
Much-Loved Monkeys enjoy laughing, telling stories, and being the life of the party. They are people-oriented, understanding, but at times, overly sensitive. They value relationships and like to help others. Monkeys are typically effective communicators, using strong people skills to engage an audience. Just as its animal counterpart swings from tree to tree, a Much-Loved Monkey personality type is versatile and flexible in the work environment. However, this means that if their job is not stimulating, they will become easily bored.
Leading Lions can "lead the pack" with great vision. They are a big-picture person—don't bother them with the details. They are task-driven and will do whatever it takes to accomplish a goal. The lion is decisive, confident, and aggressive. However, this big-picture focused mindset also means the Leading Lion can appear rude and uncaring at times. They like to be in a position of authority and thrive when a job is challenging.
Competent Camels are detail-oriented and they strive for accuracy and excellence. They are the "go-to" person to get things done because they are dependable, loyal, and practical. The camel is always prepared with a Plan A, a Plan B, and sometimes even a Plan C. Just as its animal counterpart can cross an entire desert, a Competent Camel personality type can stay focused until a task is completed. Competent Camels need to be careful of how they come across to other personality types though. Since camels desire organization and structure so much, they can become critical if others do not follow the rules.
Tranquil Turtles are steady and secure and think things through. They prefer a few deep one-on-one relationships instead of having many friends. The turtle excels in a job that requires specific skills and allows him or her to work alone. Just as their animal counterpart moves along at a slow pace, Tranquil Turtles will meet expectations in their own time. They like a work environment that is peaceful and thus tend to have a low tolerance for constant change and high stress levels.
Can Much-Loved Monkeys land the corner office? The answer is YES! Can Leading Lions, Competent Camels, and Tranquil Turtles do the same? Of course! All personality types have the potential to be great leaders and to exercise influential leadership, but leadership takes work. The key is to understand that, as leaders, we all have to make personal leadership development a regular part of our daily lives, so that we can thrive on our strengths and improve on our weaknesses.
Using Your Personality TYPE with Personal Leadership Development
Once you know what your personality type is, you can leverage that information when working on personal leadership development.
Much-Loved Monkeys enjoy having a good time but without constant stimulation, they’ll get bored. It’s important to find ways to stay engaged in your work to keep the fun alive.
- Try playing music or listening to podcasts while you work. Use headphones so you don’t distract your neighbors.
- Use colorful paper and pens to write your notes, or add bright décor to your work space.
- Adorn your desk space with colorful greenery or even just photos of mountains, oceans, or other scenic landscapes.
- If you get tired of sitting in the same place for hours on end, get up to get a snack or cup of coffee, or take a walk around the block during your lunch break. If possible, grab your laptop and head to the park or coffee shop for a change of scenery.
Leading Lions are often full of great ideas for achieving goals, but they often lack the attention to detail to put an actionable plan in place. Without these details, the rest of the team is often at a loss of how to reach the goal.
- At work, listen to the conversations of those around you. Watch their behaviors and notice how they react in certain situations.
- When engaged in conversation, focus on what that person is saying. You’ll be able to learn more about how that person thinks and feels, and you’ll be able to more accurately address their concerns.
- Everyone learns best in one of three ways: visually, auditory, or kinesthetically. Listen to how your coworkers respond to your ideas. If they draw it out, respond vocally, or build a model, you’ll know how to give them information in a way they easily comprehend.
When you focus on learning about and listening to others, you’ll be better equipped to give them the details they need to achieve your big picture ideas.
Competent Camels place high importance on following rules and procedures, and can struggle when others don’t follow the same set of rules.
- Notice when you are being too harsh or critical so that you can correct your response when communicating with others. Everyone acts as they see fit and the person you are about to criticize likely has a different perspective of the situation.
- If you’ve ever taken a psychology class, you probably learned that whatever behavior you acknowledge is what gets reinforced, whether good or bad. Notice the positive in others and comment on that instead of pointing out their flaws or mistakes.
- If you must deliver a criticism, like when evaluating an employee’s performance, remember that it takes five positive comments to outweigh one negative. It’s also a good practice to sandwich the criticism between the praise so the person doesn’t feel targeted and focus on the bad. Be genuine about the positive’s though, studies show many people pick up on this tactic if used disingenuously.
Tranquil Turtles work best in quiet environments where they can be alone to focus on the task at hand. When something or someone comes along to interrupt their flow, they may have trouble adapting to this change.
- Stop spinning. Mistakes will happen and things will come up out of nowhere. It’s important to realize that sometimes the best decision to make is a quick decision.
- When something unexpectedly happens, become aware of how you’re feeling (overwhelmed, frustrated, angry). Then, take a deep breath, take a step back, and evaluate the situation for what it truly is. This helps you calm down and refocus so you can figure out a course of action.
- If possible, you may need to step away from the situation entirely. Whether that’s physically stepping away by taking a short walk, or mentally stepping away by working on something else for a bit, taking some time away can help you come back with a clear mind that’s ready to face the issue with a new perspective.
To find out your own personality animal, take the personality profile test. You will receive the results instantly when the test is completed. Then, you can leverage this information during your personal leadership development and improve your relationships at work, eventually moving into the big, corner office.