What Kind of Leader are You?

Leadership styles vary, and can vary greatly. Furthermore, a style that might work for one company or industry might be a total bust for another. So… what kind of leader are you? How do you engage your people? What are the characteristics that make you who you are and define how you lead?

The 2013 Wonderlic Leadership Invitational involves measuring participants on the following nine well-researched leadership characteristics, which determine a participant’s leadership styles. How do you think you rate?

Control Perception: A person's belief about the cause and effect of life events. High scores on this characteristic indicate an internal Control Perception, while low scores indicate an external Control Perception. Externals believe that the events of their lives are primarily controlled by external forces such as luck or fate, whereas Internals believe that life outcomes depend primarily on their own personal behavior and efforts.

Desire for Structure: The extent to which a person feels the need to—and proceeds to—organize themselves, their time, and the objects around them. Individuals requiring lower levels of structure are relaxed and have a carefree attitude regarding their time and activities. Those preferring high levels of structure are self-disciplined and orderly.

Empathy: Empathy is a form of 'emotionally knowing' the experiences of another's feelings. People with low empathy have a tendency to stay self or task focused, and people with high empathy have a keen sense of the emotional state of others around them.

Expressive Control: The extent to which a person has the desire and ability to control emotional expressions. People who score low on this style consistently present themselves as they feel. High scorers have a greater tendency and ability to control their public appearance.

Extroversion: This characteristic involves one's social focus. Extroverts tend to focus on people, be social butterflies and surround themselves with others.  On the other hand, Introverts tend to focus on their own individual experience and may be described as shy or reserved.

Other-Directedness: This characteristic involves the degree that individuals strive to meet social acceptance. Low scoring individuals are independent and self-sufficient. They tend to take what they want and allow others to fend for themselves. High scoring individuals are very accommodating to friends, coworkers and even new acquaintances and strangers. They tend to feel responsible for the feelings and experiences of others.

Reward Expectancy: The extent to which a person believes that they will be justly compensated for the work they perform. People with low scores have a relatively negative outlook on the reward systems they have encountered and expect to encounter, whereas people with high scores have a positive outlook regarding these systems.  Commonly, low scoring individuals perform just the ‘bare minimum’ because they perceive that no rewards will come from doing more, whereas high scoring individuals put in more effort than required because they perceive something more will come from the effort, even if it is not readily available or tangible at that moment.

Self-Monitoring: This characteristic refers to the extent to which a person actively attunes to information about themselves and their surroundings. People who score low on this characteristic expend little to no effort paying attention to social cues, whereas high scorers are keenly aware of themselves and how they are perceived and may change their behavior to match what they think is appropriate for their surroundings.

Self-Efficacy: A sense of one's capability to attain desired results. People with low Self-Efficacy have a general negative outlook on their ability to achieve success. In contrast, a high degree of Self-Efficacy has been shown to enhance success and personal well-being. When people have confidence in their capabilities, they tend to approach difficult tasks as challenges. As a result, they tend have high expectations of themselves, set challenging goals and have a strong commitment to achieve them.

Keep in mind that there are many profiles which may result in successful leadership. More specifically, sometimes the profile of a successful leader varies based on circumstances, like the personality of direct reports, their assigned tasks, job or industry. For instance, leaders with low levels of structure might be good to lead a team of artists (but not lawyers), and a low score for Other-Directedness, which would indicate a proclivity to work on projects without needing to rely on others for support and direction—may work for accountants, but not doctors.

To learn more about what kind of leader YOU are, enter the 2013 Wonderlic Leadership Invitational.

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