Ever since going through Marcus Buckingham’s StrengthsFinder assessment and materials, I’ve appreciated his take on personalities and how teams work together. In contrast to some other personality tests out there, his angle acknowledged the fact that no person could be fit strictly into one specific box or explained by 4 letters. It won me over, giving me and my teams a vocabulary for understanding our own and others’ wiring.

Leadership is idiosyncratic. – Marcus Buckingham

In his talk during the CFA Leadercast last week, Buckingham aimed his perspective towards leadership. We often think of leaders as having a certain out-spoken, charismatic personality. Leadership advice (and becoming a leader) often points towards developing a more “leader-like” personality. I again appreciated Buckingham’s angle: every leader is different, and there’s no cookie-cutter recipe for successful leadership. In fact, the behaviours of another leader, funneled through your personality, will often be less than helpful.

Your goal is to take what is unique and make it useful. – Marcus Buckingham

This all relates closely to my own journey as a leader. Me being “myself” was often thought of as being the quiet kid in the corner. I’m not exactly the “out-spoken charismatic” leader-type. But I was challenged, not to become a different person, but to have confidence in myself as a leader. While this changed things like my physical posture and my tone of voice in front of people, I’ve still had to opportunity to maintain my personality and explore my own style of leadership.

I hope you can too.

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