Archives for leadership

Leaders’ Personalities: Determined or Developed?

A significant portion of my work as an executive coach involves assisting existing and emerging leaders to accept themselves.  A big part of who they are, the part they often need to fully embrace, is their personality.  The following question frequently comes up, “Is my personality inherited or developed?”  Before I answer that question, let me define some important terms. Personality is a reference to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving.  It is a reference to the type of person each one of us is, thinking holistically about how we tend to be in the world.
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The Importance of Developing Empathy as a Leader

Key Ways to Develop This Vital Trait Empathy is perhaps the most valuable skill for human beings to possess. There is increasing evidence that empathic living with others is the much-needed antidote to the self-absorbed individualism we’ve been suffering from as a culture and in the workplace for the last century. Author Roman Krznaric describes this as the movement from understanding humans as being primary driven by self-preservation, “homo self-centricus,” to being primarily socially connected to others, “homo empathicus.” We sat down with faculty member Andy Johnson to talk about the importance of empathy for leaders. What is empathy? I
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The Cost of Leadership Invalidation

Leadership is hard work. As Peter Drucker said, it’s not about personality traits or charisma, but about putting in the effort to actually do the work of leadership for the sake of others. Getting the work of leadership done is always taxing. But adding an additional burden in the form of unnecessary noise about our inadequacy makes the task that much harder. This is particularly the case with yin leaders. What is the impact of the noise in our heads as introverts or ambiverts that suggests that we are unqualified or incapable of leading well? Most of us have heard
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Character Based Leadership

As Susan Cain has well documented, our culture shifted at the turn of the last century away from a culture of character and toward a culture of personality.  Gladly, many thought leaders today are advocating a reversal of that unfortunate shift.  One example is the Lead Change Group, a nonprofit global community that is at the front of this cultural change toward culture-based leadership.  I would concur with their assessment: We need a leadership revolution so that character becomes the top priority in evaluating and developing leaders. If character is going to be our first concern, it will prove helpful
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Don’t Be a George!

I spoke this morning at the Future of Leadership event in Boise, Idaho on the subject of The Yin and Yang of Complete Leadership. My theme was the need for us to regain healthy balance between the complimentary aspects of introverted and extroverted leadership styles. As a starting point for the discussion, I chose George III of England, a notoriously bad example of leadership. George’s leadership directly contributed to the need and desire for the American colonies to get out from under his oppressive reign. As a leader, he utterly failed. We would do well to learn from three of
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Introverted Leaders

This article was posted previously at Price Associates. “Hi, I’m Andy. I’m an introvert.” “Hi, Andy.” So goes the typical introduction at the local support group for non-extroverts. So many of us have, for far too long, considered this aspect of ourselves to be something we would rather keep private (after all, we are introverts) than let it be known to others and bear the brunt of their attempts to fix us (make us more outgoing and extroverted). We sometimes allow others to treat us as if we have a disease. Perhaps we need to rethink our view of this
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