There’s an old saying that goes like this: “There are two types of people—Leaders and followers.” The overarching implication is that some people are suited to lead, while others just don’t have it in them. In reality, the connection between personality and leadership is far more complicated. Your personality type doesn’t determine whether or not you’re able to be a leader. Instead, it simply determines the kind of leader that you’re capable of becoming.
It’s important to remember that good leaders come in all personality styles. Each DISC personality type translates into very different leadership styles, but all of these different styles have their own unique advantages. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best leadership qualities of each of the four major DISC personality types.
“D” leaders are bold, decisive, daring, and direct. D-style leaders think fast and are ready to act quickly. Once they make decisions, they never look back—second-guessing themselves isn’t in their nature. D-style leaders like to set goals and reach them quickly, and don’t have patience for team members that take a long time to produce results. D-style leaders prefer a straightforward, goal-oriented approach to projects, and tend to be direct and to-the point in all of their dealings. (Even their emails tend to be brief.)
Because D-style leaders are charismatic and confident, they feel very comfortable in positions of leadership. They like to be in control, and meet challenges head-on. They also have an innate sense of competitiveness that drives them to lead their team to success.
I-style leaders are inspiring and influential. They have a magnetic personality that draws people to them. When an I is leading a team, team members are inspired by the I-style leader’s optimism and enthusiasm.
I-style leaders are also approachable, collaborative, and interactive. They are energized by creative interaction, and prefer face-to-face meetings to email exchanges. Projects helmed by I-style leaders typically involve more meetings, group brainstorming sessions, and collaborative activities than other leadership styles tend to initiate. When an I is the team leader, communication is typically excellent.
I-style leaders can be a lot of fun to work with, are genuinely likeable, and are particularly talented at coming up with out-of-the-box solutions to problems. If you’re looking for innovative, creative approaches to projects, an I-style leader is the perfect choice.
S-style leaders excel at creating strong, dedicated teams. S-style leaders are not afraid of hard work, and like to lead by example. Instead of merely delegating work, they will typically be down in the trenches with the rest of the team. They are hardworking and dependable, and devoted.
S-style leaders are also excellent mediators and can work through obstacles with an innate sense of fairness and empathy. Their down-to-earth approach and willingness to go out of their way to make their team members feel valued and appreciated inspires great loyalty.
C-style leaders are organized, thorough, and focused. They are they kind of people that have dedicated themselves to becoming experts in their fields, and lead by virtue of their skill and competency.
C-style leaders are perfectionists that hold themselves to very high standards. They expect the same of the teams they lead. They are excellent planners, and tend to take a strategic approach to projects. Because they are so thorough and meticulous, deadlines, potential problems, and important details rarely escape their attention.