Managing a team effectively is a lot easier said than done. We are often told to understand people better and to adapt ourselves according to their personalities, which is something I totally agree with. But since human beings have free will, we cannot simply classify them by type into some kind of table the way a zoologist might do with animal species. There are, however, academically proven principles, such as the Big 5 (Five Factor Model) personality theory, which have proved reliable over time in helping to assess people and predict their leadership behaviour.
Diversity of personality: I have been involved in a leadership assessment and development programme at an organisation that is the leader in its industry. Specifically I have been evaluating Ms Kaewta (not her real name) and the relationship with four other executives that she leads.
All four are highly capable in their areas of responsibility, with the right professional and educational background. However, a closer look at their personalities, based on information gleaned from psychometric and cognitive ability assessments, reflects big gaps among the team players and also Ms Kaewta herself. Here are brief descriptions of each one:
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