History’s pages are filled with stories of teams who fill us with awe at their achievements; teams who against all odds, triumphed over great adversity to produce results that no-one expected.
I’m sure you can think of some.
Like when Australia II snatched the America’s Cup from the hands of the Americans in 1983 with it’s genius winged keel, or when the Australian Cricket Team, led by Don Bradman, defeated England in the 1936/37 Series to regain the Ashes after their famous battle in the previous Series, nicknamed “The Bodyline Series” where England used a now illegal tactic to defeat Australia. Or just recently, our Australian Women’s Football team, The Matildas, coming fourth in the World Cup – their best result to date. Truly inspiring team performances.
And when you think of your favourite teams, you begin to think of all the different players in each and the contribution they make to the team. Their success was a result of the sum of everyone’s performances, working seamlessly together in unity and harmony.
The “magic” doesn’t just happen as I’m sure you appreciate – there’s many factors that go into the achievement and success of each team, however, there’s a realisation that’s easily overlooked by many leaders today, but is mastered by the highly effective ones, and that is that the product is not the product, but the product is people.
Outstanding leaders are not in the business of producing products and services, or a Grand Final win for example – they are in the business of growing and building a phenomenal team of individuals who work together to the best of their potential, in unity and harmony.
They know that you must first invest in and grow those you lead before you have any hope of achieving what you want to achieve. The product is not the product. The real product of outstanding leadership is the growth of people.
Leadership is a great responsibility as the professional lives (and often the personal lives) of the people you lead, are in your hands – so you must truly understand the people in your team – knowledge is power – power to make the best decisions for your team, to lead and grow them which greatly increases unity and harmony, which will then ultimately lead to you achieving the results you want to achieve.
One of the most effective leadership strategies to help you do this is to gain a real understanding of the different personality types within your team and to know their associated strengths and weaknesses, and then, build upon them.
To create a unified and harmonious team environment, there are different personalities that get along with each other better than other personalities and, as the Leader, you need to understand what these personalities are and how they intertwine to either strengthen or divide the team you lead.
Personality Type Guru, Florence Littaeur, identifies 4 personality types in her book, “Personality Plus”, and there’s a simple test you and your people can do that’s in the back of her book.
By you understanding the 4 personality profiles of:
- the team members you have around you
- the Chain of Command
- the people who lead you
you’re able to effectively connect with team members at a deeper level. This leads to greater individual effectiveness, stronger relationships and increased harmony within the team.
Analysing yourself and your team members leads to transparent communication (as you are able to communicate in a manner best suited to their personality type) which grows trust and strengthens unity and harmony.
As the leader, are you connecting?
As a team member, are you connecting?
Who aren’t you connecting with? Why?
The first thing I do when I am brought into a new professional sporting team or business, is to use Florence’s simple profiling test to help me understand the personality strengths and weaknesses of the people I am beginning to lead one on one to grow their leadership.
Over the last 30 years in business, I’ve focused on growing particular personality strengths that I have, but at the same time, I’ve focused on 3 personality weaknesses that I must be aware of every single day of my life. However, it’s the growing of my personality strengths which has helped grow my leadership effectiveness the most – not concentrating on my weaknesses, and this is what I recommend to everyone to do.
Every single person on this earth has personality strengths they can grow to help them become more effective and successful in both their personal and business lives.
Do you know what your personality strengths are?
Do you know what your personality weaknesses are?
You must understand yourself first before you can lead others and bring about a positive change in others which is the greatest test of a leader’s ability – people growing and changing positively under your leadership.
We’re all born with personality strengths and when we’re able to grow them, it helps us to become a more effective leader.
Over the last 31 years, I have done 18,000 formal 1 on 1’s, and every single person I’ve spent time with have some amazing personality strengths, but I’ve found that in many cases, people spend the majority of their time focussing on what their personality weaknesses are! They’re totally distracted from the big positives about themselves. This is a mistake because no one is perfect.
Focussing on the negative will keep you in a negative mind space.
You’ll always win by growing your individual personality strengths and the personality strengths of your team.
How are you growing your personality strengths?
How are you growing the personality strengths of those you lead?
What I’ve also observed is that there are particular personalities more suited to certain roles than others.
There are individuals who are more natural leaders than others. There are certain individuals who really don’t want the responsibility of leadership – they’d rather a less upfront role.
There are those who are more analytical or pragmatic, those who are really creative, the perfectionists, the people who are quiet but extremely dependable.
There are very intelligent individuals who have educated themselves about leadership and every once in awhile, I have the honour and privilege to be given the leadership responsibility to lead a born leader who impacts thousands and thousands of people.
The results of identifying the right personalities for the right roles in a business, strengthens unity and harmony and increases overall productivity and effectiveness, as well as the retention of your people.
There are many people that aren’t happy in their current role because it doesn’t align with their particular personality strengths.
Are you in the right role?
Are you effective?
Are you happy?
Where are you going?
Are your team members in the right roles for their personality strengths?
Leadership is a big responsibility because you lead people who are following you.
Do people follow you because they have to?
Do people follow you because they want to?
The better you get at connecting with people and their personality, growing and empowering them with the personality strengths that they bring into the team, the more effective leader you will become (as people will want to follow you) and the more unity and harmony you will have around you. This then paves the way for the result you want to be achieved.
Do you have unity and harmony?
Is there division in the team you lead?
Do you truly understand the 4 types of personalities that you have around you and how to connect with them to build trust?
There are over 6 billion people on planet earth but there is only one you, and there is only one of each of the people you lead, who are valued team members and colleagues. As a leader, you will achieve the best results when you focus on growing and building the personality strengths of these people, and not focussed on the results you want to achieve.
The product is not the product – the product is your people.
I talk further about growing the people you lead in my book, “The Dream Is Everything”. If you’d like to receive a FREE e-copy of my book, (RRP $24.95), click here.
All the best and keep climbing,