The Hardest Person You’ll Ever Have To Lead Is...

Before I dive into how we can handle the hardest person any of us will ever have to lead, I want to share a link to a video I posted on our social media channels a few hours ago calling attention to the amazing work that’s done by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and why we’re so excited to be able to work with them again this year as Community Partners for LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg!

I also want to share a link to a blog post I just read from The John Maxwell Company that ties right in with what we looked at in the last blog I posted, what we’ll be working through here, and what we’ll be digging into with the next few blog posts. Their post was called Leading from the Middle: I’m Not the Boss! You Do the Leading! I won’t speak for you on this, but the fact that this is something they’re addressing as well tells me that the misconception that you have to have authority in order to lead is pretty widespread!

How will you recognize the hardest person...

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Authority or Influence?

In early 2001, I read a book by John Maxwell and Jim Dornan called Becoming a Person of Influence. One of the most significant things I remember from the first time going through that book was how John shared that so many of the folks he interacted with who were serving at high levels of their respective organizations seemed to have very little interest any what he was teaching about leadership but those same folks were devouring what he was putting out on developing influence. As executives and upper level managers, they were often of the opinion that they were already leaders so why waste their time learning any more about that. Many of them did, however, recognize a need for learning how they could develop more influence with the individuals reporting to them…

That explanation was the first time I recall John making the statement that “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.”

As I was reading that book, fresh off reading The 21 Irrefutable Laws of...

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A Complete Picture of Precision and Accuracy

This final primary behavioral/communication style won’t be DEMANDING, they won’t use their INFLUENCE forcefully, and they won’t likely SHY away from tough conversations when something has gone wrong. They will, however, approach the situation with a degree of CAUTION and have a high expectation for us to provide them with the CRITICAL details of how we ended up where we are and how we can work toward resolution!

When the folks who make up the 25% of the world that’s more Reserved and Task-Oriented are in those higher pressure situations, they’re very comfortable with putting the brakes on. Their CONSCIENTIOUS approach to situations will often be slow and methodical. In many cases, those of us who are working with them to resolve the issue may take their lack of expression as being COLD or angry. That’s not always the case! They’re likely just CONTEMPLATING what the most accurate course of action to achieve the perfect end result would...

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Kind and Reassuring, or They’ll Disappear!

Unlike the last two groups we looked at who like to see things moving along fast, this more Reserved group won’t appreciate being rushed through the process - especially when tension is building! While we can expect confrontation from the DRIVEN group and often a sarcastic comment (or fifty) from the INSPIRING group, the folks who tend to be more SHY are more likely to do all they possibly can to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers. And in many cases, this very SUPPORTIVE group will accept the loss and be on their way.

With the exception of what I dealt with just this past week, I’ve rarely ever been in a customer service situation where the person tasked with handling the issue wasn’t trying to find a resolution as quickly as possible. Not only did the folks I was interacting with seem unconcerned about the amount of time it was taking, they clearly had no real interest in solving the problem either… The typical approach of fixing the issue as...

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Keep Things Light and Show Their Value!

As I posted the last blog, I thought it was only fitting to use an image of The Incredible Hulk; that’s certainly how I felt during much of the eight hours tied up with one company and four more the following day with another… Now that we’ve looked at some steps we can take in mending fences with the more DIRECT and DETERMINED folks, let’s jump to the next primary behavioral style - the INSPIRING and INFLUENCING ones.

While a blind spot for this group is that they can be ILLOGICAL at times, that’s almost always because of their desire to be INVOLVED in a lot of exciting projects and activities where they can help the people around them have a great time. But when things get really tense, they can show signs of being INFURIATED just like that last group!

The one thing these two groups have in common is their Outgoing and Fast-Paced approach to nearly everything they do. Be it good or bad, that certainly spills over into how both groups handle the most...

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