The CEO no one wants to follow!

April 29, 2011 by: admin

Can a full grown, educated, high ranking adult change?? Can someone actually change their personality? If they have been leading in one way can they shift their style and lead a company, a team, an office in different manner? Is it possible to influence, teach, groom a leader to take on new qualities and let go of other traits to become the leader the team wants and even likes to follow?

These questions were put to me just yesterday by one of my clients, the chairman of his company as we pondered next steps and future growth of the company. Years ago we had set in place a plan where he would step away from the daily management of the company and raise up a CEO to do this.

My response was a resounding YES! It’s possible!

Then the challenge- while the new person is educated with degrees behind his name and years of experience- what occurred , as I’ve seen so many times before when a new ‘personality’ comes in to lead, they do it with Leadership by Title! This has the appearance of a bit of ‘dictatorship’. Do as I say. In this day and age of empowerment and personal development. This style is not very successful.

The team that had been accustomed to being nurtured was now being talked down to and controlled. My first comment was …change is inevitable with every company that is looking to grow. It is particular to a company changing leadership. However, it doesn’t mean that change has to be wrong or bad. (Which some team members are likely to make it) What I focused on was what the CEO’s strengths are. He is detailed, he is process oriented. He will calculate the risks and be gearing to steady long term growth, the true goal of the company.

Then we turned to the limitations, bossy, condescending, perfectionist. These are all  things that can be mitigated. When one becomes conscious to the downside of some of the prevailing traits if becomes clear how to tame them.

We can all change or tone down the traits that will cause friction in our relationships but first you must become aware of who you are and how the qualities affect the other personalities.

If you have the strengths of born leader, goal achieving, excelling in emergencies you might also have the limitations of being bossy, impatient, no tolerance for mistakes, knows everything. OR perhaps you are easy going, relaxed, peaceful, agreeable but also with that, you are not exciting, no goals, resent being pushed too, shy and can’t make decisions.  OR it might look like this, you are talkative, charismatic, creative and full of ideas, but you are also, compulsive, egotistical, too talkative, too loud, want all the credit.

The truth is that every personality makes a fantastic leader. Nations have had leaders with every personality type. The successful leaders have accentuated their strengths and mitigated their limitations.

If you’re the leader, decide what environment will cause your team to thrive. Whether it’s ‘nurturing’, ‘competitive’, ‘creative’, ‘efficient’ or ‘collaborative’. Place the focus on that and utilize the strengths you have that lend to that end.

Stay tuned for more on The Power of Personalities here are
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