Ever wondered what role knowing about personality styles plays in good leadership qualities?
Plenty, it turns out, and one famous presidential historian can tell us why.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of three presidential biographies, has studied what makes leaders succeed. She’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who’s written about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Kennedys, and Lyndon B. Johnson…so she knows leadership when she sees it!
When asked about what today’s leaders can learn from past presidents, she says that at the top of the list of good leadership qualities is the ability to surround yourself with diverse personality styles.
What do different personality styles have to do with good leadership qualities?
Ms. Goodwin states that presidents who surround themselves with advisers who have differing opinions, varying views, and a broad range of personalities make better decisions.
Hearing dissenting opinions strengthens the decision-making process. Not only that,but hearing from people who disagree with you can spark innovation and a more creative approach to problem solving. Lincoln did it, Obama does it, and the best business leaders do it too.
But when you have all those personalities (and political rivals) in one room, communication is key! Understanding personality styles and how they determine communication patterns will go a long way towards making sure you’re getting the full effect of having all those varying opinions around you.
To hear from everyone, good communication is key.
Lincoln even put his political enemies on his cabinet. Imagine the discussions at that table! Good leadership qualities today include managing heated discussions… the kind that can spark innovation and brilliant problem-solving.
Through DiSC® personality training, leaders can learn how to spearhead group discussions under even the most tense and chaotic of conditions. Verbal sparring, heated arguments, cross-examination… it all boils down to understanding how people communicate. That’s all based on personality styles, believe it or not!
In other words, you can keep all that in check, with positive outcomes no matter how heated the discussions might get, if you understand a little bit about personality styles and how to manage them.
In Doris Kearns Goodwin’s words, good leadership qualities are strengthened when you…
“…surround yourself with people who can argue with you and question your assumptions. It particularly helps if you bring in people whose temperaments differ from your own.”
–Doris Kearns Goodwin, on good leadership qualities
Ready to learn about leadership, personality styles, and communication? Our DiSC® personality workshops can help you with that… just call!