Israel Galindo in a comment on my last post raised the issue of leadership styles. He points out, “leadership is about one’s functioning, not one’s ‘style.'” That reminds me to get on my hobbyhorse about style. Sure, knowing your leadership style, in whatever system you want to use, may have its place. But it’s not the most important factor. The most important factor is not style, but maturity. People of different and even conflicting styles who are relatively mature emotionally will be able to work together. People of compatible styles who are immature will have problems. So we’ll get a bigger payoff from working on our own maturity than we will from trying to figure out our own style or the styles of others. And, as we become more mature, we have a bigger repertoire. We will be less stuck in the same style, and be more able to choose what seems appropriate in any given situation. Our responses will be less rigid. That’s good for us, and good for those we lead.
Working on personal maturity is a lifetime project, but it’s worth it. How do we work on it? Here’s my take on that question: 1) sustained spiritual practice, 2) doing family of origin work, ideally with an experienced coach, 3) having people around who will challenge us and not just prop us up or listen to us whine. Not an overnight project, and much more difficult than taking a styles inventory. But taking these endeavors on will make a real difference over time.