If one person tells you that you have a tail you can ignore it; if two people tell you, turn around and take a look.
How can we lead others without mastery of self? Speaking for myself, I cannot lead others without at least some control over the “tyranny of self”.
Self-mastery is a grand goal, so we should start with self-knowledge. A great first step is to understand what one can and cannot control.
Extending my earlier post about personality and leadership…. While I see value in Myers-Briggs, there are a lot of caveats about the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and personality testing in general:
- MBTI measures aspirations as much as reality. One has to be very careful about whether you’re seeing what you are or what you wish to be. Both are OK results, just know the difference.
- The test and rating scheme were heavily influenced by the types and theories of the creators themselves (and ultimately Carl Jung‘s concept of Psychological Type).
- The logocentric nature really turns some folks off (though I see the four characters like they’re on slot machine “wheels”).
- The simplistic visualizations in MBTI mask the malleability and fuzzy nature of “type.” As noted above, one’s mental or emotional statecan skew the results. Also, other tests/approaches have more straightforward insights into the differences between how one reacts when stressed vs. relaxed.
- Type can become stereotype — which is one of the best insights from Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits….” It is useful as a screening and development tool, but MBTI is much more useful to each individual to know him/herself. To reinforce this, one approach is to have everyone destroy their “type IDs” at the end of MBTI-based training.
- Type doesn’t mean destiny. Everyone thinks sales people have to be “E,” buy many only appear to be extroverts. Much of their apparent spontaneity is an effect achieved through meticulous preparation. Many actors are “I” as well — one of the reasons The Method is so effective.
Filed under: Communications, Leadership, People Development, Skills vs. competencies | Tagged: Carl Jung, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Personality Tests, Personality Type, self-knowledge, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey | 1 Comment »