To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what kind of leader I am. I know what kind of leader I think I am, but I’ve never gotten external confirmation. So, to get some outside perspective, I did some Googling. First, I tried taking some online quizzes to help inform my leadership type only to get to the end and find I had to subscribe to whatever service they were offering to access my results. Then I found an infographic that told me I was most likely a “Pace Setting” leader.
For this result, I only had to answer two questions, and I didn’t fully agree with the predetermined responses I had to choose from, so I didn’t put too much stock in that. Then I scrapped the Googling and just did some old fashioned thinking.
As a newly dubbed, yet skeptical, “Pace Setting” leader I did find some truth in the description of this leadership type and myself. I do have high standard for my work and people I work with know that. Over the course of my education and work life however, I have learned that sometimes people have different standards than I do, and when in a leadership position I have done my best to accommodate those differences with flexibility, empathy, and sometimes very frank conversations.
My biggest asset as a leader is my problem solving agility. In college I double majored in math and fine arts and at the heart of both of them was problem solving. I love breaking down complex tasks to derive solutions, and this mindset has persisted when trying fill my role as a leader effectively. I would like to think that because of this I have been able to develop a dynamic leadership style – I try to morph my style depending on the type group that I am attempting to lead. At times I have had to play the role of micro-manager when groups are not motivated to get anything done (think working on a group project as a grad student with a bunch of undergrads ready to call it quits and go home for break), to facilitator when working with highly skilled and motivated people where all I need to do is just “stock the pantry” and they cook up amazing things.
Overall, I would rather be making progress by getting things done rather than talking; taking small steps toward larger goals while constantly reevaluating each step and communicating with those involved and changing course as necessary. I would call this a Rapid Prototyping leader.