In this series we’ve looked at how knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests play a role in the choices we make which define who we are. In the final post of the series, Who Am I, we will discuss the role personalities play in these choices.
Are you shy or outgoing, nervous or confident, lazy or hardworking, honest or dishonest? What characteristics do you possess? Personality can be defined as a combination of characteristics that form an individual’s distinctive character. In other words, one’s personality is made up of qualities that define who they are.
The personality traits that you align with will dictate the decisions you choose resulting in defining you as an individual. There are numerous personality traits to choose from. I say choose from, because ultimately you get to define who you want to be.
- “Life is what we make it, always has been, and always will be.” – Grandma Moses
Nothing is set in stone. If you want to be a successful coach, athlete, or parent you must find the characteristic combination that creates this. I feel that the only way to know where you’re going is to define where you’re at. What I mean is you must first assess your current personality in order to grow into what you want to be. A great tool to assess this is the 8 Myers-Briggs Personality Preferences (http://www.knowyourtype.com/8_preferences.html). Once you know your preference combination you can determine your personality type with the Myers-Briggs Personality Types (http://www.knowyourtype.com/16_types.html).
Knowing where you start is great, but how does one change? Tough question made easier by first having the willingness to adapt and improve. Here is a list of traits deemed to be the top 10 personality traits of a great leader from Santa Clara University and the Tom Peters Group.
- Honesty – Display sincerity, integrity, and candor in all your actions. Deceptive behavior will not inspire trust in your people.
- Competent – Your actions should be based on reason and moral principles. Do not make decisions based on childlike emotional desires or feelings.
- Forward-looking Set goals and have a vision of the future. The vision must be owned throughout the organization. Effective leaders envision what they want and how to get it. They habitually pick priorities stemming from their basic values.
- Inspiring – Display confidence in all that you do. By showing endurance in mental, physical, and spiritual stamina, you will inspire your people to reach for new heights. Take charge when necessary.
- Intelligent – Read, study, and seek challenging assignments.
- Fair-minded – Show fair treatment to all people. Prejudice is the enemy of justice. Display empathy by being sensitive to the feelings, values, interests, and well-being of others.
- Broad-minded – Seek out diversity.
- Courageous – Have the perseverance to accomplish a goal, regardless of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Display a confident calmness when under stress.
- Straightforward – Use sound judgment to make a good decision at the right time.
- Imaginative – Make timely and appropriate changes in thinking, plans, and methods. Show creativity by thinking of new and better goals, ideas, and solutions to problems.
Self-evaluate and determine which characteristic(s) you lack or need the most improvement upon and begin the work of change at that point. Set outcome and process goal to help you achieve and become a better coach, athlete, or parent.
Let me provide an example so you can see how to get this process started. Let’s say my imagination as a coach is not very good. I can set an outcome goal of creating 1 new activity (not pulled from a book) per week for my youth team. The process goal that I would set then would focus on setting aside 1 hour 3 days per week to think, dream, and plan. By having the process goal measurable and attainable while defining my outcome goal, I should be able to creatively design a better practice plan using my imagination. By spending time working on my imagination, I most likely will have enhanced my competence, intelligence and my forward-thinking (because I may have read and/or thought about the dynamic needs of a youth athlete to keep them motivated and active while enhancing their sport play – i.e. I want my activity to be successful). Once I take that new activity to a practice setting I can inspire because it is personal to me. I am more deeply invested in seeing the activity become successful because I creatively designed it.
A successful leader never stops learning and growing. What can you do to enhance your personality? We all have weak areas. Do not be afraid to work on them. Remember a leader leads others so what can you do to help improve others?
Thanks for following the Who Am I series. Hopefully you were able to learn a little about the role self-awareness plays in leadership and the specific aspects that make up determining one’s self-awareness. As a last thought, remember that knowledge, skill, abilities, interests, and personalities make up who you are. If you want to improve or see your teams improve and become more successful, this is a great place to start.
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