There’s more to your leadership story than a simple plot of what’s happened in your career. Understanding your temperament and showcasing your traits creates a more compelling picture of your true leadership capabilities.
The myth of the ideal leader
There is no ideal leader. A picture of the “ideal leader” persists in the media and mainstream business culture as driven, independent, and equal parts brilliant and charismatic, but this picture sheds more light on cultural trends rather than the truth about what real leaders are. In fact, after more than five decades of research studying leadership, scholars still can’t produce a clear profile of the ideal leader.
This is a good thing, for employees and executives alike. Each person has a unique story to tell about how they’ve led specific projects, company-wide initiatives and teams at various stages of their career. These stories are personal and reflect an individual’s experiences. In dispelling the notion of an ideal leader, research now points toward how various types of leadership can flourish.
A straightforward story just isn’t enough
Your personal leadership story will often get told at job interviews.
As a candidate, you prepare your story by constructing a plot held together by a storyline’s basic elements—beginning, middle and end (i.e. employment to date).
You present the progress of your career according to the contents listed in your CV. Industry knowledge, acquired skills, formal training, responsibilities, job experience, education and credentials. Chronologically ordered, these are the things you have done and can do.
However, this storyline alone fails to satisfy what an interviewer is really looking for: a concrete sense of your self-awareness, which demonstrates your style or character.
Despite telling a detailed story of your leadership, you’ve likely failed to describe the way in which you’ve done things and the character in which you’ve performed your roles; in short, your temperament.
So, what do you need to understand to tell your leadership story … find out next week …
To find out more about the McQuaig Psychometric System visit www.mcquaig.co.uk or call 0203 111 9292.