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The Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Leadership Style
By Gwen Moran|October 24, 2012
There are many leadership styles and
a cottage industry has cropped up around defining them. Gayle Lantz, president
of WorkMatters, Inc., a human resources consulting firm in
Birmingham, Ala., uses the popular DISC assessment tool to as part of her
practice to identify leadership styles.DISC, an acronym for dominance, influencing, steadiness, and compliance, uses a
series of questions each with four answers. Respondents indicate which style is
most and least like their own. Lantz says she usually sees four core
leadership styles
emerge from these assessments. Individuals often
tend to be a combination of styles, each with their own strengths and
weaknesses.

“To get the best results on a
team, it’s important to have a balance of different styles and also to get to a
place of appreciating the other styles, as well,” she says. Look for your
own style in these four types.
Conductor. These leaders are direct, with a constant sense of urgency
and focus on results. Conductors want to win, and often make quick decisions to
get a competitive edge. The hard-charging style of these leaders drives change,
values new ideas, and isn’t afraid of confrontation. As a result, conductors
tend to get things done.
Be careful of: Conductors may be characterized as difficult or
egotistical. Impatience and the desire to move forward quickly can lead to
impulsive decisions or mistakes. Lantz cautions conductors to take a breath and
not expect others to always work at the same pace.
Related: How to
Make Criticism Drive You
Influencer. If you have an optimistic, motivational, people-oriented
communicator on your team, chances are you’ve found an Influencer. These
leaders are typically enthusiastic and in tune with other people around them.
They like helping and motivating other people and have a natural ability to do
so.
Be careful of: Influencers may be too verbose and have trouble staying
focused. The can also be disorganized and easily led by others. According to
Lantz, influencers need to be careful not to let their relationships and fears
get in the way of making good decisions.
Supporter. Steady and unflappable, supporters tend to be the glue that
holds their team together. It’s difficult to make them lose their tempers and
they tend to be very loyal to those around them. They are patient, reliable and
create a sense of calm and stability.
Related: Jim
Collins on Creative Discipline, Paranoia and Other Marks of a Great Leader
Be careful of: That same temperament that makes supporters such a
stabilizing influence can also keep them mired in indecision and complacency.
Because they dislike confrontation, they may avoid situations where it’s
inevitable. Risk-aversion and procrastination can also trip up supporters in
their leadership roles.
Analyzer. Smart and analytical with a penchant for following the
rules, analyzers are those detail-oriented leaders who ask thoughtful questions
and leave no stone unturned to ensure quality and accuracy. Their pace is
typically slower than other types of leaders, but the job is going to get done
right the first time.
Be careful of: Analyzers can suffer from “analysis paralysis,”
letting their perfectionism hinder effective decision-making. They may fear
mistakes or criticism of their work, so they want to make sure they have all of
the information before moving forward. They can be perceived as micro-managing
or nit-picky, and need to be conscious of when they are over-thinking a
situation and, instead, need to take action.
19% of people are D, 27% are I, 35% are S, and 19% are C