There is a shift in what Canadians say they want in a leader from what we have experienced as the archetypal ‘in charge” leader to a more people focused approach. A recent survey by Psychometrics Canada identified what current leadership looks like by temperament and then compares that to what people indicate as the profile of their optimal choice.

Current leadership profile:

  • 40 % SJ Temperament – “someone who is thorough and orderly, and focuses on organizational stability and consolidating systems”
  • 30% NT Temperament – “someone who is pragmatic and analytical, and focuses on creating far-reaching and comprehensive plans”

Survey results for “ideal leader”

  • 67% NF Temperament – “someone who is democratic and involved, and focuses on working with and through people”

The article in Psychometrics Quarterly newsletter goes on to say

The other three temperament groups were selected much less frequently. NT leaders, who adopt a strategic, long-range focus, were seen as the ideal leader by 13% of respondents. SP leaders, who like to tackle problems resourcefully and have a timely cleverness, were seen as ideal by 11% of respondents. Leaders with an SJ temperament, who tend to be traditional and act as a stabilizing force on their organization, were seen as ideal by 7% of those who completed the survey.

What challenge does this really indicate to current leadership? I wonder if influences such as the internet have had a democratizing effect that demands a different approach everywhere in the workplace, in parenting and in politics. No matter what your temperament type, it is not sufficient to give lip-service to the people factor. Are we really ready to create the kinds of structures, systems and leadership models that allow people to risk contributing freely?

Category: Leadership
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