Your Leadership Profile
Who are you? What is your leadership style? The point is that we all have a little bit of entrepreneur, manager and leader in us. Your task is to identify your strengths and core skills and compile your Leadership Profile. So, what’s the purpose of this?
Equipped with a better understanding about your Leadership Profile, you will have a tool for leading yourself and helping the people around you succeed. Knowing your leadership style and core skills will allow you to better apply and build on those strengths. When recruiting, forming teams, supporting colleagues, try to think in terms of Leadership Profiles. What is the mix of Entrepreneur, Manager and Leader here? Am I facing an idea-person, a structure-person or a people-person?
Furthermore, you can be an entrepreneur, but how string are you as an entrepreneur. I suggest three skills levels: Basic, Average and Star. Combining these skills levels with your personal mix of styles (entrepreneur, manager and leader) will give you your Leadership Profile. You can try this simple test to get an indication of your profile.
When forming a team, you would ideally want a heterogeneous group. Look for participants who can contribute ideas, someone who can turn them into execution and structure, and people who can smooth things over when a crisis arises or when personal relations break down. You want diverse, cohesive teams. Imagine a group with only single-minded, creative idea-people; it would soon implode. Then think of a group with only managers who can’t dream up any new ideas; the company or organization would stagnate (but be well organized). A group solely made up of people-people with more regard for feelings and empathy and little concern for structure and ideas wouldn’t create much either long term. The bottom line is that you would like to find the right ‘leadership mix’. This concept, that a team is a group of leaders, is in itself different from the traditional approach where there is a group with one leader.
You would also like to understand Leadership Profiles to help match the right individual with the right role and task. For example, it’s good if the one who’s responsible for a big and complex project possesses some Manager skills, the head of team has Leader skills, and it helps if the Chief Financial Officer (besides being a great Manager) also is a bit of an Entrepreneur to get the business from an innovative perspective.
Another way to use your Leadership Profile is to set out to change it to develop your leadership. My own profile a few years ago was a strong Entrepreneur with some average Manager skills but poor Leader skills (i.e. not that good with things like empathy and listening). Now, my Leadership Profile is quite different, with more focus on the people I work with. I know that the Entrepreneur will be the strongest part of me, but my analysis of my Leadership Profile, and the feedback I got from others, enabled me to understand that I had to work to develop my Leader (people) side.
Furthermore, with a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, you can proactively look for people who can complement you. If you are a strong idea-driven Entrepreneur, but with limited skills for administration and personal relations, you might want to find a Manager who can balance your shortcomings. One of my early mentors told me to hire people who are ‘better than yourself ’, i.e. are stronger in areas where you have identified that you are relatively weaker. To hire people ‘better than yourself’ is a humble way to say that you have acknowledged your own profile.