52 Books - Book 22
The book, The 8 Dimensions of Leadership: DiSC Strategies for Becoming a Leader reminds us that no matter what personality we express in the world, there are positive leadership traits that help us with at least one of the three phases of the leadership process.
- The pioneering leader is good at finding opportunities, stretching the boundaries, and promoting bold action.
- The energizing leader is good at sowing enthusiasm, building professional networks, and rallying people to achieve goals.
- The affirming leader is good at being approachable, acknowledging contributions, and creating a positive environment.
- The inclusive leader is good at staying open to input, showing diplomacy, and facilitating dialogue.
- The humble leader is good at maintaining composure, showing modesty, and being fair-minded.
- The deliberate leader is good at communicating with clarity, promoting disciplined analysis, and providing a sense of stability.
- The resolute leader is good at setting high expectations, speaking up about problems, and improving methods.
- The commanding leader is good at showing confidence, taking charge, and focusing on results.
Seeing that there are so many ways to lead, the first lesson of leadership to learn is that our way of handling a situation is not the only way it can be done. The authors say:
We offer the model as a way to expand your perspective about what constitutes effective leadership. Some of the leadership dimensions described here will seem very familiar to you, while others may seem counter intuitive.
We all tend to get comfortable with what the authors call our "default setting." Some might call these our strengths and say we should focus on our strengths. From a psychological energy perspective that makes sense but here is another perspective from the book:
Unless we understand the nature of the psychological influences on our work as leaders, we remain captive to our beliefs, attitudes and priorities, which can blind us to the reality of a situation and the needs of our organizations.
The authors are speaking about the stretch aspect of the leadership process, if things are not working out, we need to stretch our abilities, learn new approaches, examine our beliefs, and seek input.
Each dimension presented includes favorable aspects of that style as well as challenges we face because of our psychological perspective. For example, if you are a Commanding Leader your challenges include being slow to recognize the "errors of your own ways." You might also have a subconscious desire to not just win, but for others to actually fail. This makes it difficult to accept other ideas that may be better.
There are two chapters for each dimension. The first one describes the dimension and the second chapter provides three specific lessons that will enhance your capability as a leader. Reading this book and applying what you learn is taking your leadership strengths and applying a mindful and purposeful approach to leading others.
Every week during 2014 I look forward to sharing books that I am reading. The lens of the leadership process will be the filter for which I recommend books. Books are powerful vehicles for providing us with inspiration and new ideas.