Chapter Two – How Personality Traits Influence Leader Emergence
This chapter seems to be about how personality plays a part in the discussion of leadership. There are essentially two fundamental dimensions of leadership. The first one is the competency dimension, which consists of traits like intelligent, energetic, and motivated. I feel like I can do better at being more confident about my intelligence and work ethic. The second dimension is the warmth dimension, which refers to traits related to being sociable, friendly, and caring. I feel like I do better at this, but I also want to make sure I am not taken advantage of. I wish people would not see this as a weakness because this is where you can genuinely connect with people.
Something that I had heard of before this book was the Big Five Model of Personality. The dimensions of the Big Five are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. For me, I think I am more on the neuroticism side. Neuroticism is when the people tend to be anxious and worried. I think I like to micro-manage, so it is a fault. I do think I need to work on being calmer in certain situations. I think I am an introvert, where I like to spend more time alone, prefer more solitary activities, and draw from self-reflection. I think to try to be better at openness, which refers to originality, creativity, and willingness to try new experiences. I think I am open when it comes to professional decisions. I do think I need to be better at trying new things personally by going on more adventures and learning more about the world. I do think I am strong in agreeableness, where it talks about cooperation, sensitivity, and the need to be liked. I think it is more important for people to like me professionally than personally. I need to make sure everyone is taken care of, or that at least everyone has respect for one another. I do care that people can trust me as a leader in my job settings. The last one is conscientiousness, where I think I am in the middle of that spectrum. I do see myself having a willingness to work, but when I have the motivation to. I always do not have that persistence, when I do not feel like it. That is something I should work on. It was interesting to see how openness and extraversion were the most important. I think my job as a Senior Resident Assistant has helped me with my extroversion, but I am glad I had my time to refuel.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on the case of Tom Monaghan and Ted Turner. It was brilliant that they had a high locus of control and a high level of openness to see a window of opportunity. I think being innovative is seeing things that are already out there, and work from there. They could be very different, but they sued the same ideals to succeed. I can only imagine the number of people who thought they were crazy or wrong to take such a chance, but now we see it as the norm. Tom founded Domino’s Pizza, and create a large industry because of it. Ted could branch off into different sectors with Turner Broadcasting Systems. With their varying interests, like Tom loving the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, it also shows that inspiration can come from everywhere. So keep your eyes open for the next big idea! 😊
One of the things that I will get from this is thinking about how core self-evaluations will work. It did show that CEOs who had core self-evaluations had a higher team winning percentages, had higher fan attendance, and have lower turnover. I need to think of how my team perceives me, and how I can always improve. Sometimes, it is hard for people to say if there is a problem if they are not given a platform for that. I know that I am an INFP from taking a test prior, but I need to learn the proper information to make use of those. It says that people with high thinking and judging combination are prevalent among top managers. I can try to implement more of these traits in my skills I need to practice on. Lastly, I can maybe use my own form of a core-evaluation to use with my team. I can make it that we will not just be evaluating certain people, but I think I can figure out a way to evaluate us as a team. That can work.
I think we read this because of one of the points mentioned in the “put it into practice” of the chapter. It says that “realize that introverts and extroverts can both be successful; find the path to success that matched your personality”. I think this is relieving for many. There are so many assumptions as to when it comes to what traits you have. Sometimes people say we are living in an extroverted world, or that the introverted people are the best kind of leaders. What is important is what this chapter is saying is that you can use however you are to the fullest. I did my best when I just accepted how I am, and the first part in that is realizing what traits you have. You should not feel like you cannot achieve what you can just because you are not open, or if you do not have a high locus of control. Self-reflection is critical in being a good person and good leader. If anything, personality is your secret weapon. That is what makes you different from everyone else, and that is what can make you a good leader. You just got to find what it is. Hey, you can use your skills to eventually build the next Apple or Domino’s Pizza.