From the Business Perspective Newsletter
Who are you?
This is the question posed by Tommy Spaulding in his book The Heart Led Leader, and the question we asked the 2021 Leadership Overland Park class in their opening session last week. Tommy’s book is the pre-read for LOP classes and sets the stage for the curriculum’s personal development. Tommy believes that defining your leadership philosophy is one of the most important steps you can take as a leader because it shapes your interactions in your business, in community organizations and with family and friends.
Each year we spend a portion of LOP’s Opening Day exploring our preferred leadership styles through the Leadership Compass Exercise. Class members choose their most natural approach to work from the following directional descriptions:
- North (Get it Done: Goal-centered, assertive, and decisive)
- South (The Nurturer: Friendly, supportive, allows other to feel important)
- East (The Visionary: Innovative, risk taker, focuses on future thought)
- West (The Analyst: Practical, uses data to make logical/analytical decisions)
This class, like many others, predominantly divided into North and West with a friendly rivalry between the “get it done” and “get the correct info” camps. With only four Easts and three Souths, their visionary and caring voices would at first seem to be underrepresented, but in this case, numbers aren’t the whole truth.
As leaders, we’re tasked to draw upon skills from all directions of the compass during the day. Throughout discussion, each group acknowledged its gaps, pointing to the needs to pull in leaders from other groups to complete their teams. Norths focused on deadlines and getting to the goal wanted Wests to research the options, analyzing the data to ensure the best outcome, with Souths to keep the focus on team and the process with Easts to provide the “why” as they focus on the big picture and innovation needed to move forward.
Most of us are hybrids, strengthening skillsets based upon what’s needed for the job at hand. Wests may be NorthWests, or Souths reallly SouthEasts, adapting through the years, and sometimes utilizing different skills between work and home. OP is in great hands with this new class – creative, committed, capable and insightful about themselves and how perspectives of many are needed to accomplish our goals.