I’ve been trying to be intentional about my personal leadership style. How do I operate in a team? What do I bring to the table?

There are many different kinds of leaders, and many different ways to be successful–I’m not looking to fit into some pop leadership coaching ideal. I want to be myself, just more effective.  I want to accentuate and leverage my strengths, and work with people who can get around my weaknesses.
The problem, of course, is that we don’t really know ourselves. Leadership happens in the 1,000 little decisions we make everyday–not just the big, obvious ones we make several times a month. Thus, most acts of leadership are unintentional, subconscious acts. That’s sort of scary, right?

Here are some useful questions shared with me in my Vistage group. They are designed to help you become aware of your subconscious (i.e., authentic and lived) leadership style.

In general, what do you do?

  1. Confront or avoid?
  2. Reward loyalty or reward performance?
  3. Take the low road, if competitors take the low road, or take the high road?
  4. Promote from within or seek talent outside the company?
  5. Invest in the company or harvest the company?
  6. Meet the company’s needs or the customer’s needs?
  7. Plan or react?
  8. Share information or withhold it?
  9. Pursue quality or expediency?
  10. Emphasize participation or centralized control?
  11. Lead the market or follow the market?
  12. Operate by the numbers or by your “gut”?
  13. Weed people out by survival of the fittest or support people and help develop their unique contribution?
  14. Operate in the mode of “lean and mean” or “the best of everything”?
  15. Stand for something, or go with the flow?
  16. Trust people or look over their shoulders?
  17. Create a personal or professional atmosphere?
  18. Foster independence or interdependence in your people?
  19. Lead in a way that is “hands-on” or “hands-off”?

Were any of these particularly hard? If so, why?

Do you see yourself accurately enough to know your default leadership responses? It would be really interesting to complete this yourself, then ask someone who works very closely with you to circle how they think you operate on a pre-thought basis.

Here are some I struggled with:

quality vs. expediency

confront or avoid

“lean and mean” or “best of everything,”

create a personal or professional atmosphere