Traits of a Leader

Using Natural Effectiveness" to Sustain Strategic Momentum

Gayla Hodges asked:

Copyright (c) 2008 Gayla Hodges

Natural Effectiveness” revolves around your personal traits and characteristics. If we can measure how you work most efficiently and effectively (and we can), and then focus leadership around those characteristics and strengths, amazing things can happen. This is the core of our Natural Effectiveness” philosophy. It is about defining the way you work most powerfully and positioning you to leverage your natural strengths to meet your goals. You don’t have to figure out how to be someone else. All you have to do is be your most efficient and effective self, and it will give you tremendous power to lead, achieve and develop.

At Change Agents we measure natural effectiveness based on four basic traits: The take-charge trait The people trait The pace trait The structure trait.

Based on your highest trait, you will likely approach building and sustaining strategic momentum in certain predictable ways.

If your highest trait as a leader is the take charge trait, you might approach your team as the General. This is not to be confused with a dictator. But your tendency will likely be to direct, deploy and conquer. Remember, you can fight some of the battles on your own, but you will need all of your troops to win your vision. You are looking for and trying to inspire allegiance to the vision and the strategy, not necessarily to you, yourself, personally. You must remember that people provide the energy for your campaign. If you ask them to salute, it may make them tense and less energetic and committed to the cause.

If your highest trait as a leader is the people trait, you will automatically build a team. You will connect with people individually, in small groups, and corporately to share your passion and inspire them to want to seek the vision you outline or the future you envision. You will draw word pictures that explain what it will be like when you achieve the vision. Two things that are critical to your success are that you listen and that you take appropriate actions when necessary. Some visionary leaders have failed because they were considered all talk and no action. The key is not to let your enthusiasm overcome your good sense.

If your highest trait as a leader is the pace trait, you will likely lead through encouragement. You will spend more time encouraging action than you do in pushing for results. Your strength is your ability to stay the course. Another plus for you is the patience you have when things don’t go as you planned. Giving people permission to be human and make mistakes allows for creativity and innovation. Meeting deadlines can be a pitfall for you. It is critical that your team trust you. You build that trust by doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it.

If your highest leadership trait is the structure trait, you will likely use systems and processes as the highways to your strategic goal. Effective systems and processes are critical supports in any strategic effort. Remember: people need to know why they are being asked to follow a certain system or process. The best way to engage them is to allow them to create or redefine the systems and processes they need to achieve the results you need.

As you build your strategy-focused Naturally Effective” organization, you will want to engage the strengths and talents of every person on your team. The bottom line in using your natural effectiveness” to maintain strategic momentum is this: work from your strengths, employ and leverage the strengths of others, and that will help you sustain your strategic momentum.


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