Personality Prove Your Leadership, but Personality Proof Your Systems.

By Paul Joiner

Personality Prove Your Leadership, But Personality Proof Your Systems

The best thing about personality-driven leadership is the dynamic effect it has on your organization.


However, the worst thing about personality-driven leadership is the dynamic effect it has on your organization.


I call this leadership phenomena Dynamic Change or Dynamic Chaos.


Dynamic personalities are exactly what are necessary to move your organization forward. Personality-driven leadership offers vision, direction, change, and growth—all vital for the vibrancy of your mission. Their intuition, experience, knowledge, and individuality shine light on new paths to brighter horizons.


But sometimes you can have too much of that good thing.


Dynamite can be constructive or destructive depending on where, when, and how you use it. This is true with leaders who possess a dynamic personality, as well. Used for the right reason, and at the right time and place, dynamic personalities can create positive impact for your organization. But if not restrained, a dynamic personality can sabotage the system and lead your team into chaos.


So when do you unleash the strengths of dynamic-personality leadership, and when do you contain it?


Simple: Personality prove your leadership, but personality proof your systems.


Dynamic personalities should set vision, objectives, goals, and project results—defining the system that will deliver their intended outcome. But once that system is set in place, you need to personality proof it. Dynamic personalities often interfere with order, protocol, planning, production, and deadlines.


This creates an open season for all staff to do what feels best to them—operating in the default approach of their personality. Each personality (or Adventure Style) brings with it Dynamic Change or Dynamic Chaos with regards to leadership styles:


Dynamic Change

  • Explorers (Visionaries) are motivated by change, lead with intuition, and execute through emotion.  
  • Trailblazers (Conquerors) are motivated by results, lead with motivation, and execute through action.
  • Navigators (Stabilizers) are motivated by order, lead with information, and execute through instruction.
  • Travelers (Peacemakers) are motivated by experience, lead with interaction, and execute through narration.


Dynamic Chaos

  • Explorers (Visionaries) can be distracted and lack diligence—affected by their surroundings and can be overcome with the newest idea or dream. 
  • Trailblazers (Conquerors) can be impulsive and impatient—act before considering the consequences and believe the end will justify the means. 
  • Navigators (Stabilizers) can be rigid and perfectionists—distracted by the details and have a strong dependency on a routine and schedule.
  • Travelers (Peacemakers) can seek a strong measure of significance and are people pleasers—reward focused and not task focused, which means they often procrastinate the routine.


As you can see, the strengths and weaknesses of each of these personalities present both positive and negative effects in an organization. This is why dynamic leadership needs to be contained. Unleash it where it serves the company best in Dynamic Change: vision, planning, direction, and structure. Bridle it where it can harm the company the most causing Dynamic Chaos: systems, procedures, maintenance, operations, and reporting. Personality-driven leadership leads us to a strong plan and structure—a system that needs to be free of the whims, worries, moods, frustrations, impatience, or feelings of a variety of personalities.


Granted, many times a system is set in motion only to prove it is flawed. It is tempting for us to rush in and troubleshoot without seeking counsel. Don’t do it! Go back to the drawing board with all hands on deck to fix and tweak what is needed. Even when a system is performing less than the desired outcome, it is not time to lead by feelings or frustration in a time-pressured vacuum. Communicate the problem, suggest a fix, seek leadership consensus, define approval, make the fix, and operate the new plan as freshly determined.


You have a personality.


You possess an Adventure Style, and with it a specific Life Approach.


And if you are a leader, or work with other leaders, you will see these Life Approaches cause Dynamic Change or Dynamic Chaos depending on how well they are disciplined.


This is all good and productive if you use it to PERSONALITY PROVE your leadership.


But once the brilliance of your leaders puts a system in place, PERSONALITY PROOF it!



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