Type and Leadership

ISTJ – Responsible Executors

Setting Direction

Assets: ISTJ leaders tend to…

§  Be able to recall and synthesize a good deal of data base on which to build future goals

§  Define desired end points (goals) with clear metrics

§  Focus on priorities by recommunicating goals until others can remember them

§  Like to plan ahead, providing clear realistic objectives that can serve as milestones toward the goal

Challenges: ISTJ leaders tend to…

§  Have difficulty envisioning or acting on new ideas that are different from the status quo

§  Appear unenthusiastic about others’ ideas when considering and trying to integrate them

§  Undervalue own vision of the future; may yield too much to others’ input

§ Hear others’ concerns as challenges, and react dogmatically

Inspiring Others to Follow

Assets: ISTJ leaders tend to…

§  Value loyalty and reward it with inclusion

§  Describe past successes, which can increase others’ confidence in a successful future

§  Define clear roles and deadlines so that others know what to do and by when, tracking progress to motivate engagement

§  Demonstrate respect for other leaders and be comfortable with having the spotlight focused on others

Challenges: ISTJ leaders tend to…

§  Undercommunicate how much they value being part of the organization, thereby seeming less engaged than they are

§  Have a strong inward focus when working on tasks, leading others to view them as unapproachable

§  Make quick judgments based on experience, discouraging others who want to brainstorm and appearing closed to new ideas

§  Fail to identify what inspires others, whether it is the challenge of the task, the joy of being part of the team, or the sense of satisfaction in a job well done

Mobilizing Accomplishment of Goals

Assets: ISTJ leaders tend to…

§  Easily find the most efficient and practical way to execute a task

§  Work diligently behind the scenes to support goal achievement

§  Get others focused on the results expected

§  Enjoy being depended on to get the work done, serving as a role model for others

Challenges: ISTJ leaders tend to…

§  Display supreme confidence in their facts and analysis, leaving others feeling that improvements or observations are unwelcome

§  See all the ways things can fail, discouraging others

§  Fail to notice interpersonal clues that suggest efforts may be stalled

§  Micromanage others, inhibiting their skill development; may result in the leader getting stuck with more work to do

10 Percent Stretch - Moving Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Expanding Your Leadership Mindset

§  In addition to making sure tasks get completed, recognize the value of building personal connections, using those connections over time to achieve results. Strong relationships also deepen the commitment members of your team feel to one another and to their tasks.

§  Authority is derived from more than one’s position in an organization or on a career ladder. You must skillfully exert interpersonal influence, using tailored approaches to motivate different people based on what they seem to care about.

§  Time spent expressing your gratitude for others’ contributions is time well spent. Showing appreciation helps you reinforce productive behaviors, build relationships, gain influence, and increase employees’ engagement in their work.

Developing Additional Skills

§  Coaching. Learn to coach others for their development, rather than to accomplish a specific task.

§  Speaking up. Insert your ideas and reactions into group discussions sooner. Your clarity and ability to synthesize perspectives may help the group progress faster.


Broadening Your Style

§  Your habit of accomplishing tasks quietly and efficiently may lead you to avoid the spotlight and be too humble. Humility is indeed a virtue, but you may need to help others appreciate your contributions, not overlook them.

§  When appropriate, practice leadership styles you find less comfortable. For example, you might decide a democratic approach may work best when a decision will affect everyone and you need exceptional commitment from all to succeed.

§  Share more about yourself, including your development goals, and invite others to tell you more about themselves, too. You will become a more influential leader when you are better known by your colleagues.

Changing How You Relate to Your Context

§  Develop a deeper awareness of your own and others’ values, or a sense of what really matters. How can you exercise your values in the workplace and play to others’ values to influence them?

§  Increase your comfort with ambiguity and lack of clarity. Interview colleagues who manage ambiguity/lack of clarity well to find new ways to respond to it.


Leadership Development Path: SI à TE à F à NE

§  Introverted Sensing (SI). Your detailed memory helps you build effective implementation plans. Cultivate a similarly detailed and understanding of what others find motivating to better enroll their help.

§  Extraverted Thinking (TE). Others see your ability to move efficiently toward your goals. Try articulating your plan to others before you start. Their input may not only enrich your plan but also engage them in its implementation.

§  Feeling (F). Develop the ability to diagnose group dynamics; practice reading the interpersonal subtext in group meetings and then later trade observations with a trusted colleague to continually sharpen your skills.

§  Extraverted Intuition (NE). To exercise your strategic thinking muscles, try predicting how industry trends might affect your organization and what it will take to complete successfully 50 years from now. Discuss these ideas with your colleagues.


Tips for Coaches and Mentors - Supporting ISTJ Leaders

§  Appreciate them for the strong backbone they provide the organization, whether it is reflected in their dedication and loyalty, quality of work, or specific contributions.

§  Offer to help them make time in group meetings to articulate their ideas, thoughts, and conclusions.

§  Give them feedback on how you see them undermining their own success. Are they coming across as rigid and inflexible? Are they stifling others’ independence by micromanaging?

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