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Strength and Weakness: What Type of Leader Are You?

Strength and Weakness: What Type of Leader Are You?

Some people are born leaders. However, not all leaders operate by the same modus operandi. It’s important to know what type of leader you are in order to maximize your potential, as well as the potential of your team or company. Are you a creative thinker, or more traditional in your problem-solving methods? Do you like to have a solid gameplan, or would you rather jump into the fray and fix things on the fly? Do you act on emotion, or through carefully thought-out logic? Depending on how you answered these questions, you probably fall into one of the following categories, according to Inc.com:

1. Envisioner

The Envisioner is always dreaming up big things for his team. He isn’t limited by conventions. When others say we can’t do things that way, the Envisioner asks, “Why not?” He approaches each problem with a unique perspective, and will think outside the box when given an especially difficult task. The Envisioner rarely meets a problem he can’t solve with his creativity.

However, problems can arise when the Envisioner thinks too big. His ideas might be too creative, in that he ends up utilizing too many resources, or realizes he didn’t think his solution through to the end. The Envisioner’s idealistic nature sometimes blinds him from the reality of the situation, and he’s left dreaming in the clouds while the rest of his team is working on a grounded way to get things done.

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Envisioners work best as artists, musicians, or any other profession in which their worth is determined by their creativity. If you’re an Envisioner, you might find it difficult to work in a position in which you have a budget and other limitations holding you back from your dream.

2. Analyzer

The Analyzer is programmed to look at each and every problem she faces systematically. While the Envisioner has lofty, unrealistic hopes for the future, the Analyzer stays grounded and sees things as they truly are. The Analyzer doesn’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel; rather, she subscribes to the old axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” She is more than happy to stay the course, as long as things get done to the best of a team’s ability.

Of course, this means the Analyzer rarely introduces innovation to the team. The Analyzer tends to shy away from new ways of doing things, and is incredibly skeptical of those who try to be creative in their solutions. Unfortunately, since the Analyzer doesn’t take many risks, she actually runs a bigger risk of allowing her team and company to fall behind others who come up with modern spins on old traditions.

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Lawyers and judges are, of course, analytical thinkers. Their jobs require them to work within the law rather than to bend it as they see fit. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but instead must be sure the machine stays afloat.

3. Feeler

The Feeler is an emotionally-driven leader who sees his team as people first, employees second. He’s empathetic to his teams needs, and understands that a good team can’t function unless their basic needs are met. The Feeler won’t be the boss requiring his employees to come in on Saturday to finish up work that should have been done Friday, because he understands they need down time in order to be effective come Monday morning.

However, when you’re the leader of a team, there are times when you can’t be everyone’s best friend. The Feeler often has trouble laying down the law when things aren’t going the way they should be. In an effort to appease everyone, he may end up failing the company by not enforcing a “strictly business” policy in the workplace.

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The Feeler is best fit to work as a counselor or psychiatrist, as he is able to work with others on an personal, emotional level rather than focusing on business.

4. Doer

The Doer is strictly results-oriented, regardless of the cost. According to the Doer, if something needs to get done, it better get done immediately and without hesitation. The Doer doesn’t waste time analyzing possible solutions. When she makes a decision, she sticks to it and expects everyone else to fall in line. Unlike the Feeler, the Doer might have her employees come in on Saturday if they didn’t get the job done Friday.

But the decisions the Doer makes aren’t always the right ones. Since she tends to make quick decisions and jump into projects, she often loses sight of the big picture. Unfortunately, the Doer is also very rigid and stuck in her ways. Regardless of whether her initial plan actually works or not, she will stick with it to the end. This can result in a drop in morale, especially when she ignores her employees’ innovative contingency plans.

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Athletes are the epitome of Doers. They know what their goal is, and they know how to accomplish it to the best of their ability. The best athletes never let anyone else stand in the way of their goals.

Not sure what type of leader you are? Check out this handy test on Inc.com and let us know in the comments what your leadership style is.

Featured photo credit: 2nd Annual Learning Leaders Conference at Harley-Davidson Museum® / Dirk Tussing via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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