Personality and Leadership

Personality and Leadership


In the real world, we never get to see our
own character sheets. What if we could use personality tests to
reveal parts of them? How do we benefit from knowing what’s on our character sheets, and which tests are actually useful? Hi, I’m Brie Sheldon, and welcome to
Leading with Class Personality tests have been a tool for assessing
leadership basically forever. They’ve had varying levels of effectiveness
and accuracy. Some tests show gender bias, like how the
Keirsey Temperament Sorter has different results based on which gender you choose at the start
of the test. They’re also very centric to the United
States, which presents a bias against immigrant and international leaders. This is similar to intelligence tests, which
can have bias for race, gender, and nationality. Early IQ tests were heavily biased against
non-English-speakers and people of color. I recommend against using IQ tests in any
form for assessments. For personality tests, though, there are a
few options. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a popular
personality test loosely based on the psychology of Carl Jung. The test is supposed to measure four personality
categories, each of which is described by a pair of opposed preferences. Those preferences are extroversion or introversion,
sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. Modern psychology doesn’t view these preferences
in opposition, and repeat testing can be inconsistent. Myers-Briggs can be useful for self-reflection,
but it doesn’t tell us much reliable about our character sheets. The Big Five is a test that looks at dimensions
of a leader’s personality that are supposed to enable effective leadership. The dimensions are extroversion,
agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. One flaw of the test is that the big five
has a gender bias. It also often trends negative in the results,
focusing on flaws rather than highlighting strengths. That means you don’t have guidance for leading
with what you’ve learned – just a fix-it list for your personality. If you were a character in the game Fate,
this would be like finding out your Trouble aspect, but none of the others. Characters in Fate have aspects, which are
narrative elements important to the character and a pool of fate points tied to those aspects. Aspects can help or hinder, depending on the
situation. If your aspect could help with your action,
you can spend one of your fate points to invoke that aspect and either gain a +2 bonus or
reroll your dice. If you have more than one aspect that could
help, you can spend multiple fate points to invoke multiple aspects, but you can’t invoke
the same aspect more than once. When an aspect could hinder you, the GM can
offer you a new fate point to compel that aspect and complicate the scene, similar to
the cost you can accept to succeed with a low roll. The CliftonStrengths test determines which
strengths a person has, out of a pool of thirty-four. The strengths are descriptive and discuss
your behaviors and how they can influence your work and relationships. I appreciate the CliftonStrengths test because
the focus on strengths, combined with the leadership guide that comes with your results,
helps you use your strengths effectively and focus your efforts. When I took the test, my results were both
revealing and confirming of aspects of my behaviors Using the CliftonStrengths results feels like
revealing aspects on my Fate character sheet. My Fate character sheet is something like
this: My strengths – communication, individualization,
restorative, activator, and ideation – can all be translated into aspects that reveal
my leadership behaviors and my personality. Even my trouble can often be a strength, and
that says a lot about my leadership. The DiSC Profile assesses your dominance,
influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. this is one of the tests I prefer because
while it is a paid test, the results come along with a lot of guidance on using your
skills. In DiSC, dominance is about results and confidence. Influence is about relationships and changing
minds. People with high steadiness are reliable and
cooperative. Conscientiousness is about the particulars
– quality, accuracy, and competency. Instead of telling you about the aspects on
your sheet, DiSC reveals your approaches, like in Fate Accelerated. Dominant, influential, steady, and conscientious
describe the way you deal with the challenges you face. Where most games have skills that define what
you do, Fate Accelerated Edition presents a different option. Every character in Fate Accelerated has the
same six approaches: Careful, Clever, Flashy, Forceful, Quick, and Sneaky. Depending on how you describe it, the same
action could be performed with several different approaches. You could bypass some guards by slipping past
them Sneakily or by blustering Flashily or Cleverly and moving on in the confusion. Approaches allow for groups of characters
that should all be able to do the same things to show off their individual strengths through
description and tactics. These DiSC approaches are rated based on the
intensity of your behaviors. you might be better able to act steadily in
a crisis, but less able to dominantly control a debate. Based on my DiSC results, I’d rate my approaches
like this: Dominant at +3,
Conscientious at +2, Steady at +1,
And Influential at 0. Knowing how my approaches are rated helps
me play to my strengths. Revealing your character sheet is a good way
to see where you are as a leader, and where you want to go. What are your strengths? What action do you need to take to be a better
leader? How do your aspects and approaches help you
cover all your bases? Aspects and approaches aren’t the only things
on your character sheet – there are still some blank spaces. Some people use leadership styles to help
fill in the blanks. Situational leadership, democratic leadership,
and transformational leadership are some positive leadership styles. We’ve talked about situational and democratic
leadership in previous episodes. So, what about transformational leadership? Transformational leadership is characterized
by the ability to bring about change in followers and organizations. Transformational leaders aim to meet goals,
while creating change and growth. This is often contrasted with transactional
leadership, which is about the give and take between leaders and followers. Transactional leaders are part of a process
– they are less about making something new. These styles all collect behaviors and purposes
into one place, but the question that I keep asking is: do we need to have a defined style? From my perspective, we are all individuals
with our own identities as leaders. styles are useful to explain behaviors and
ideals, but they shouldn’t restrain us or define us. Now that we’ve revealed what’s on our
character sheets, we need to make our own choices – and do so with our values and perceptions
in mind. In the next episode we’ll discuss values
and perception, including the role of stereotypes in leadership. I hope you’ll join us in learning how what
matters to us makes a difference in how we lead! Look in the description below or on our patreon
post for links to the sources for our definitions and examples, and for an exercise on your
character sheet, and personality and leadership. I hope you enjoy it and that you’ll share
your experiences in the comments below! This episode was made possible by your support
at patreon.com/leadingwithclass. Special thanks to Lauren Prewitt and Kimberley
Lam for sponsoring this episode. Help make future episodes by supporting Leading
with Class on Patreon! Thank you so much for watching! remember,
your Trouble can be a strength, just like any other aspect!

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