Maxwell Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Commentary - The right to lead part 6: Personality
The right to lead part 6: Personality

Posted 6/22/2012   Updated 6/22/2012 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Gene Kamena and Navy Capt. Scott Askins
Air War College


6/22/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Given that competence determines what a leader is able to do, and character bounds what a leader will do, personality then is how leaders do what they do.

There are a various scholarly debates as to what determines personality, but suffice to say that it is developed through some combination of your DNA, environment and experiences. These factors determine, affect, and mold your personality, which then serves as a leader's delivery system.

Your personality reflects how you think, feel, act or behave in any given situation. Personality is the filter through which all talent, qualities and skills must pass in order to be delivered.

The how is what followers see manifested in a leaders actions. Even the most competent leader, who also happens to possess good moral character, may never achieve their personal leadership potential if their personality is such that people do not want to be around them.

What we refer to as personality for the purpose of this commentary may also be expressed as emotional maturity or emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman, who pioneered the term "emotional maturity," attributed four competencies to a balanced and mature personality:

· Self-awareness: the extent to which a leader has a realistic understanding of their own being.

· Self-management: the ability to control one's emotions and actions.

· Social awareness: the level at which a leader understands the value of relationships and other people.

· Relationship-management: the ability to establish a meaningful connection and bond to others.

Regardless of what you call it, personality, emotional intelligence or emotional maturity, what matters is the realization that your actions and interactions matter. If a room becomes brighter when you leave it, people will avoid your presence.

A leader's personality goes a long way in determining a personal milieu, (the physical space surrounding the leader) but also sets the tone for the work, social and personal environment for the entire organization.

A toxic personality, or more appropriately a poor delivery system, supersedes competence, character and other positive qualities a leader may possess, affecting negatively all who come into contact. On the other hand, a leader with a positive outlook and balanced personality, even one of average capacity, can inspire others to greatness.
So what does a leader need to understand about personality and how it affects their organization? Here are some thoughts:

· Consistency in behavior may well be the most important quality of a leader's personality. People would rather deal with a consistently grumpy boss than one with Jekyll and Hyde qualities.

· The ability to put self aside is fundamental to having strong and meaningful relationships. Although the ability to build trust and confidence is directly related to a leader's character, the leader's personality will either amplify or dilute the level of trust and confidence in relationships.

· Leaders who are not able to receive feedback are out of balance with regard to their image of self. Remember, you have a biased view of reality.

Personality is controllable, leaders who embrace feedback and work to improve their actions and reactions to situations, are well on their way to controlling their personality. Here are some things you can do today:

· Become a better listener
· Look for feedback
· Be humble
· Be yourself
· Have a sense of humor
· Find ways to connect, work to bring out the best in people
· Step outside of your comfort zone
· Believe in yourself
· Have a mentor or mentors
· Realize that you might be the problem in a relationship (self-deception)

Leading is the business of people. The strength of the connection between you, the leader, and those you lead, determines your effectiveness. Your personality will either make the bond between you and the people you lead stronger, or it will act as a barrier--you won't lead if you can't connect.



tabComments
No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Maxwell AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabSocial Media Dashboard
tabTop StoriesRSS feed 
Maxwell ACSC instructor accepts DoD award

Congressional Gold Medal honors Civil Air Patrol’s World War II service

Governor visits Gunter CDC

International military leaders inducted into AU Honor Roll

Tool to safeguard PII to rollout December

BOV excited about Air University's future

32nd Annual Glenn Miller Concert returns to Montgomery

Glenn Miller

ACSC vice commander honored by Cambridge University

Innovating education: New commander of Air University challenges Airmen

  arrow More Stories

tabAETC NewsRSS feed 
Secretary James arrives at Columbus AFB

Altus instructor selected for KC-46 test and evaluation team

Lackland Sergeant completes formal course from all military branches

New 19th Air Force commander visits Vance

International military leaders inducted into AU Honor Roll

Sheppard Airmen disarm potential threat, earn medal for courage  1

Flying Training Wing gains new squadron


Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act