It’s never too late to create a new style. And to really dig into the fun stuff, I have to understand my own style. This is true in fashion and in relationships (to name two). Skipping past fashion, and focusing on relationships, do you know your style?

Leaders are developing relationships continually, sometimes growing them, sometimes diminishing them. I recently watched Steve Jobs, the movie about this larger than life person that we have all come to know. Steve Jobs may or may not have been aware of his style, but at several points in the movie it is clear he isn’t aware of his impact, and at least once or twice in his life he shifted his style.

I believe leadership style is first formed through motivation, and then influenced by personality. Mr. Job’s motivation is not clear to me, although I would guess he wanted to change the world, and technology was his medium for that.

I wonder how he would classify his personality – would he call himself an introvert?  An extrovert? Or ambivert, this recent exploration of the spectrum and the space in between. I believe there is a spectrum, and I am most clearly on the introvert end of it. And, for those of us who are more introverted, seizing the floor in a room full of extroverts can be challenging and exhausting. This means I must use my energy strategically if I want to sustain my contributions and creativity. The key is grant myself plenty of pauses and retreat to restore, which recharges me to be my best self. I have learned to plan my calendar so a day of group interaction is followed by quiet time.

Are you more of an introvert? If so, consider scheduling a time to walk the hallways of your firm so you can check in with people and have conversations that build relationship (trust) and address concerns. Finding your own path to connection is critical – whether it’s handwritten notes or phone calls for individual appreciation.

Jim Collins, the best-selling author, has studied the outcomes of introverts and extroverts. The results are in:  Introverts are more likely to allow proactive employees to run with their ideas, and to focus on substance and strategy, rather than relying on charisma. We will be hearing from my colleague and fellow coach, Beth Buelow, PCC, over the coming months (starting now) on this topic, and how introverts thrive in our extrovert world. I hope you’ll enjoy the content as much as I have.

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About Judy Hissong

Judy Hissong is the President of Nesso Strategies. A former law firm Chief Operating Officer, she helps firms become more profitable by developing leaders. Her mission is “world domination for Good.” By creating actionable, lightbulb moments that leaders want to share and spread, she intends to improve the world one person at a time.

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Judy Hissong