Every strong leader wants to be courageous and bold, leave their mark, inspire people and need the thrill of the chase like you and I need oxygen. They have invested so many years into sharpening their skills and learning how to be a leader that their high-intensity becomes contagious.
Who wouldn’t want to follow somebody with that kind of passion!?
Too many people make a basic assumption, however, about what kind of personality that type of leader must have. Let’s clear things up right now:
FICTION: Successful leaders have Type A behavioral tendencies
FACT: Successful leaders are able to balance both Type A and Type B behavioral tendencies
Why is this true?
Let’s take a quick look at the qualities these two personalities have, and how they relate to leadership skills.
TYPE A BEHAVIORAL TENDENCIES:
Compare the Type A leader to a sports car. Words that come to mind might include “horsepower”, “high octane”, “full throttle” or “speed”. These are powerful characteristics to emulate day after day, and while Type A’s are known for “getting things done”, some followers may become intimidated as opposed to motivated. Trap #1: It’s easy to make someone feel like they are not meeting expectations if their don’t match your speed and enthusiasm.
Trap #2: Type A behavioral tendencies tend to have another side they don’t usually show, and that is a sense of despondency at times. This includes carrying around a tremendous load of stress, anxiety, self-criticism and perfectionism. I’m not implying that these behavioral tendencies only apply to the Type A person; I’m just saying they are more dominant.
It seems as if the Type A professional rises to the top more often than those who are Type B or Type C – or maybe we just hear about them more. The reason is simple, they tend to command — or even demand — attention. When we talk about diversity of management, however, behavioral traits are often not included in that discussion or evaluation.
TYPE B BEHAVIORAL TENDENCIES:
Is the leader with Type B behavioral tendencies the complete opposite of Type A? No, they just have different traits that make up their personalities. For example, those with Type B tend to be comfortable in their own skin, are easy to get along with, exhibit more patience, are creative, and overall seem to be more satisfied with life.
So is there room at the top for Type B leaders?
Absolutely, and they are all around us. Do these names bring to mind great leadership? Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. Steve Jobs. Marissa Mayer. Guy Kawasaki. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The list is longer than you might think.
What set these specific leaders apart, though, was their willingness to learn and apply the benefits of Type A behavioral tendencies to succeed in their roles. They found the balance that worked for them and the companies and people they led.
What’s the takeaway from all of this?
Don’t try to be somebody you aren’t. It’s never too late to become the person you are capable of being, so just be YOU. Don’t worry about what behavioral tendency you may fall under.
If you have the will to lead, you will lead. Inspiration isn’t always the loudest voice, but rather the one with quiet confidence.
Humbled to Lead,