Young leaders

Young persons who are placed in positions where they have to lead older persons consistently complain about the challenges that they face. Getting acceptance can be a drain on their productivity and the performance of the team.

Case studies of young persons being given the responsibility to lead their elders suggest that relying on Dominance and Influence as their preferred leadership style produced positive results.

A “I am just another member of the team” S-style approach seems to backfire as some elements who thought that they should have been given the position put up resistance. Others demand that the young leader earn their respect.

The C-style resort to using the authority of the position to get compliance fails to get the buy-in that makes all the difference in highly successful teams.

So, a demonstration of a willingness to use an iron fist carefully integrated with friendly outstretched arms seems to work best.

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Is Dominant Leadership Better?

There is a school of thought that anything but strong, dominant leadership limits the chances for success.

Jim Collins – “Good to Great” suggests that sustainable success has been achieved by a more consultative, S-style leadership.

However, case studies like Moses and Aaron and the outcomes of their action tend to prolong the debate about the value of dominance as a leadership strategy.

Moses’ Dominant-style seems to have worked better in getting “followers” to remain true to the game plan than Aaron’s Influencer-style. Aaron allowed the people to talk him into allowing them to create man-made Gods.

On the other hand, Moses showed strength and firm leadership to put down the Dathan, Abiram rebellion.

Does that make the D-style “better”? No, each style works best in given situations and terribly in others.

Are We Groomed To Be Cautious?

“The hands that rock the cradle rule the world.”

The majority of care givers and early childhood practitioners have a preference for the Reserved/People Oriented or S-Style behaviour.

It means that the persons responsible for the socialization process in the critical early stages bring a conservative and risk-averse philosophy to the task.

Examples of S-Style mantra include:

“One thing at a time and that done well”. This flies in the face in the demand for multi-tasking in the rat race world in which we live.

Another favourite is: “When a job has been begun, never leave it till tis done.” One would need to have the uncanny skill to start the most important job all the time and that it remains the most valuable use of your time throughout the completion process.

S-style behaviour in the D-I-S-C Framework is the counterpoint to adventurous characteristic of the D-style – Steadiness versus Dominance.

Does S-Style socialization dampen entrepreneurial fervor? What are your thoughts?

Understanding D of D-I-S-C

Defiance is one of the characteristics of the D (Dominance) style.

The D-style in the D-I-S-C Framework is heavily result-oriented. This produces a significant level of focus on the end game. A competitive spirit and a drive to win are key features of the D-style in action.

“Stubborn”, “Pushy”, “Aggressive” are some of terms that are used to describe D-style behavior when obstacles threaten goal attainment.

Want to hit it off well with your D-style colleague?

Help them achieve their goals. Contributing to the success of the D-style colleague is the most important thing you can do to win their support and respect.

Rough edges? Look past those. No harm or malice is intended. Just this raw desire to achieve desired objectives.

Dealing with Dominant Behaviour

Another tip in relating to the Dominant behavioral style is to recognize the tendency to speak in animated tones.

This may come across as forcefulness and even aggression. Look past that and deal with the facts.

Body language notwithstanding you can in fact can your point heard and even accepted – if your argument is sufficiently compelling.

Challenged dealing with the Dominant behavioral style?

Play a central role in their goal attainment. You will be seen in a totally different light – positively.

Moses’ Missing Mindset

Moses's Missing Mindset

Moses demonstrated a lot of qualities that are linked to D-style behavior in the D-I-S-C Framework. These include decisiveness and daring.

Moses also displayed the classical D-I-S-C Framework recognition of an absence of Patience in the D-style mindset.

Moses smashed the tablets of stone to pieces when he realized that the Israelites had created idols.

Most notably, Moses struck the rock to produce water in a bout of frustration at the disgusting behavior of the Israelites. He was instructed to “speak to the rock”. That bit of impatience actually cost him his place in the Promised Land.

We should also recall that he killed the Egyptian who was abusing one of his countrymen.

Moses seemed to have a relatively short fuse. That is in keeping with D-I-S-C Framework analysis of classic D-style behavior.

Is Focused Specialization The Best Strategy?

A long standing adage is “One thing at a time and that done well”. ¬†Even more important is the historical focus on shaping careers towards specialization.

Indeed, those who would go against the tide of specialization will be warned about the risk of becoming “jack of all trades” – without being the master of any.

I have noticed that using the D-I-S-C Framework, individuals who are Reserved tend to be more convinced that specialization is the ideal strategy. Persons favoring the Outgoing orientation are more willing to explore multiple opportunities.

Individuals favoring the I-style are widely discriminated against. The face a glass ceiling with respect to the levels of management that they can attain. They are routinely criticized for a lack of focus and the failure to “stick to one thing.”

Now this article bravely advocates that focused specialization is not a good idea. Read more…