Leadership Training is over and I discovered something about myself, well, perhaps I just received confirmation of something I have always known. I am Dr. Evil.
One of the training sessions used a program called Strengths Finder 2.0 to determine what my innate leadership strengths are. To do this I had to take an assessment consisting of 170 situational questions. With only 20 seconds to answer each question I had to select how I would react to the situation without giving it alot of thought. The designers of the assessment assumed that the truest measurement of my leadership style would be a quick gut reaction.
I completed the assessment within 30 minutes and just seconds later the results were emailed to me. The basis of this course is that employers spend way too much time educating us on our weaknesses and trying to improve them. The philosophy of this program is that an employer can benefit more from concentrating on maximizing strengths than in improving weaknesses.
My top five strengths were:
1) Strategic - I naturally determine patterns of behavior and performance in an effort to clear out the clutter of a situation. I try to turn chaos into a direction for progress. I rehearse scenarios. I know this to be true because I find myself doing Backyard Monologues, where I pace back and forth and rehearse conversations. I do this in order to prepare myself for as many possible reactions from my staff and then how I am going to respond if one of the situations arises. I believe that there are a finite number of possible scenarios and I attempt, within my brain, to prepare for them all. Because of this I do not always move as fast as I should; I lose alot of sleep; I sometimes cause my well performing staff some frustration as they wait for me to act.
2) Contextual - I always, or more times than not, try to predict the future from what has happened in the past. When I relate to my followers I am always telling them a story that goes something like this. Here is where we started, this is how we got to where we are today, here is where we presently are, and here is what we need to do to get to the goal. This goal, is based on the universe I have created from my Strategic strength.
3) Connectedness - I truly believe that nothing is an accident. Everything happens for a reason and everything falls into a unified body of experience and knowledge. From this I get a picture of what is happening and set that up to be the universe in which I function. Furthermore, because I "know" this to be true I expect my followers to fall into that universe as well.
4) Discipline - This strength means that I want every thing to fall into place. I want to think that everything is in control, even when it is not. Sometimes I make the announcement that everything is okay; I've got it covered, for no other reason than to put my staff at ease. This is also the end goal. That everything falls into place - all the dots are connected (Connectedness), the present is following a pattern of the past (Contextual), and we are progressing along on our path of the universe which I designed (Strategic).
5) Individualization - This strength comes from my need to figure out how my people think. What makes them tick? Do I have them in the right position, performing the right task. But most importantly does their personal philosophy in how the function in their jobs fall in line or otherwise support the philosophy I have set up in my universe as a Strategic planner? This strength is the one that made me realize my true nature. If an individual working for me does not share my philosophy with how the business should be run then there is a period of time where I use the way they think to try to manipulate them into my universe. If this works, well, then they remain a vital part of the team. If this does not work, I spend very little time with them and I make sure they do not show up to work the next day.
So, from this leadership profile, I operate within a universe of my own making; I truly believe it to be the right universe; I select my team for the way they think and how well they fit into my plan. If they do not fit, I will give them several chances to change their way of thinking or their commitment level, and if they do not change I make them disappear. And I have an innate desire to be in control, or appear to be in control, even when I am not. Does this remind you of anyone?
He quickly responded, "No, no, no. You simply provide your staff a framework for success. Those that succeed you give more responsibility, those that fail, you determine their strengths and leverage this in ways to make the whole team successful. As a result, you have a loyal team that will do whatever you ask and eventually there is no situation that is not out of your control."