By nature, I am extroverted and loquacious. There are up sides and down sides to these characteristics. I have also recently (graciously) been given feedback that I think my idea is the right idea (well, yeah, who doesn’t?). Really, what I think he was saying is that I have difficulty objectively viewing other’s ideas. I appreciate this feedback that I was given a few months ago and I am sensitive to this and try extra hard to be open to ideas that aren’t mine. My leadership style is one that is holistic – when solving a problem, I like to ensure that we are addressing the root cause and not just a symptom of the problem. I also look at possible solutions and take into account the impact that they will have on the problem being addressed but also the impact and/or unintentional consequences that the solution could have in other areas that may be changed as a result of implementation.
I enjoy having control…something that I work hard to balance with engagement. It is important to have structure so as to make progress forward, but too much control will shut people down or even cause them to leave the team. Control needs to be shared amongst team members.
I like to lead teams starting with clear purpose and agreeing to ground rules for how the team will function. I like to be efficient without sacrificing effectiveness. This means that I have to accept the inefficiencies associated with finding the optimal solution, not just the solution that can be designed first.
I consider myself somewhat a realist, knowing that there is a tradeoff between the perfect solution and timeliness. I also understand that there are constraints, such as time, money, technology, etc that we have to respect and accept. I tend to choose teammates that are subject matter experts and other stakeholders. I find that when facilitating a meeting, sometimes I am a mediator between two people or groups of people. We often make decisions based on consensus.
Sometimes I don’t delegate enough and this is mostly because I want to show my teammates my level of commitment, but it slows us down; this is something I am working on. I have recently mastered making the request that while I facilitate the meeting, someone else take the notes. It’s not very efficient for me to facilitate and stop and make notes throughout the meeting. It helps to announce that this job will be rotated, so that someone doesn’t think they are stuck with taking notes for all the meetings.
When I am not the formal leader of a team, I am highly engaged and often passionate about my ideas. I (thanks to previous feedback) keep an open mind to hear other ideas. I believe my strength in teams is my ability to think creatively and my willingness to be venerable by suggesting crazy/wild ideas. Sometimes they are really good and sometimes they are just crazy. It is important to form strong relationships with teammates so that you feel comfortable suggesting “out of the box” ideas and also so that each person is able to confront someone/something; healthy tension moves a team forward.