In an organizational setting, the person I probably drive the craziest in leadership is:
Someone who is highly structured and detail-oriented.
You see, I’m not. Not at all.
I am very big picture, love change, hate rules and run from boxes.
People who love structure – the ones who like to know and follow the rules and prefer details clearly defined can get frustrated with me when I am not always great at providing them.
And I can get frustrated with them because they need more structure than I provide.
Our differences can cause us to frustrate each other.
Don’t let the word frustrate frustrate you. Choose your own word. But in my case, it seems appropriate.
- They want details and crave structure and are usually good at creating it.
- I want to run from it. I know the value of good structure, but it isn’t something I run towards.
All this causes some tense moments on teams. It can strain communication at times. Team dynamics can be frustrating when they have people wired so different from each other on a team.
Yet, as a leader, I want some of those type people on my team.
In fact, I want some working closely with me. I even welcome the frustration. The people with the capacity to frustrate me most often compliment me best; especially when I allow them to do what they do best, which frees me to do what I do best.
I could choose to surround myself with people wired just like me, but it wouldn’t be a very effective team. Healthy teams need the extremes – even the ones that may be frustrating – to make us better.
Therefore, good leaders learn to appreciate differences in people and then do the hard work to build trust, eliminate organizational fear, and promote open dialogues that hopefully cut down on the frustration.
Don’t surround yourself with only people just like you. Surround yourself with some people who occasionally frustrate you and then work to build a healthy team pulling the strengths from uniqueness of personalities.
Differences make things work better.
(By the way, my wife is one of those highly structured types and we work well as a team – with only occasional frustrations.)