Deliberate leaders (and Everything DiSC)

Deliberate leaders (and Everything DiSC)

Updated August 2021

The deliberate leadership style is the focus of this month’s continuing examination of the 8 dimensions of leadership. We hope this listing of additional readings can extend your training and conversations through assignments, book groups, or lunch discussions about leadership. No matter what our own style of leadership, we all have something to learn from the styles that come more easily to others.

Deliberate leadersWho is a deliberate leader?

Deliberate leaders like their privacy, and you’re unlikely to see them show emotions or be vulnerable. You probably will notice their desire for objectivity, their reliability, and their organizational skills. You probably appreciate the clarity of their communications and think they’re good at making decisions.

If you’re a deliberate leader, you might strive for a stable environment with lots of data and proven systems. Risk-taking and making quick decisions are probably hard, although you’re willing to take on tough challenges. You like to be seen as an expert in your field.

Strengths of the deliberate leader:

  • They’re determined to get things done right.
  • They’re often able to separate emotions from facts.
  • They take the time to create systems and structures.
  • They’re not afraid to question ideas that seem illogical.
  • They’re comfortable working autonomously.
  • They’re able to work tirelessly to solve problems.
  • They usually provide solid evidence for their arguments.

Goals: Accuracy, objective process

Would increase effectiveness through: Acknowledging others’ feelings, looking beyond data

–Source: The 8 Dimensions of Leadership

What can we learn from deliberate leaders?

cartCurious about your own style? Take this quick leadership assessment.

What business leaders and researchers say about the deliberate leadership style

“Leaders who execute focus on a very few clear priorities that everyone can grasp.”
Execution: The discipline of getting things done, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

“A leader who says ‘I’ve got ten priorities’ doesn’t know what he’s talking about—he doesn’t know himself what the most important things are. You’ve got to have these few, clearly realistic goals and priorities, which will influence the overall performance of the company”
Execution: The discipline of getting things done, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

“But developing good business direction isn’t magic. It is a tough, sometimes exhausting process of gathering and analyzing information. People who articulate such visions aren’t magicians but broad-based strategic thinkers who are willing to take risks.”
What leaders really do, John Kotter

“Whatever surprises leaders themselves may face, they don’t create any for the group. Leaders are all of a piece; they stay the course.”
On becoming a leader, Warren Bennis

“There are no economies in always changing; constant changes in direction and in the ways things are done are confusing and costly to everyone”
The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

“The issue isn’t whether to have routines but which routines to have. Those few essential routines that serve the key values of the organization should be worshiped.”
The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

“People need to know where they stand. They need to know the people with whom they work. They need to know what they can expect. They need to know the values and the rules of the organization. They do not function if the environment is not predictable, not understandable, not known.”
Management Challenges for the 21st Century, Peter Drucker

Additional readings

Great Leaders Are Thoughtful and Deliberate, Not Impulsive and Reactive, Harvard Business Review
“[I]t’s important to ask yourself two key questions in challenging moments: ‘What else could be true here?’ and ‘What is my responsibility in this?’ Questioning your conclusions offsets confirmation bias and looking for your responsibility helps you focus on what you can change – your behavior.”

Do Deliberate Leadership Values Matter?, TEDx Talks
In this video, former NASA Flight Director Paul Hill discusses the importance of leadership values using the lessons learned from the Columbia, Challenger, and Apollo One vehicle failures.

Are You An Objective Leader?, Psychology Today
“Losing a million dollars taught me a valuable lesson: In order to be successful and happy, we must learn to be more objective.”

Leaders Set the Pace by Their Expectations and Example, The Balance Careers
“If you’re always in a panic, jumping anytime someone says ‘boo’ and constantly stressed out about accomplishing all of the work, your staff will experience stress as well. One secret about work is that without meaning to, you can turn a reasonable workload into a complete nightmare of stress. Instead, as a leader, sit down and evaluate whether the pressure you are feeling is real or imagined.”

Remaining Objective Is Hard, But the Best Leaders Figure Out How to Do It, Harvard Business Review
“[Objective leaders] work to create an inclusive, collaborative workplace culture in which it’s okay to challenge existing assumptions and in which alternative viewpoints are both encouraged and rewarded. This is what researchers call ‘psychological safety,’ and it has been repeatedly found to be essential in a variety of industries, from hospitals to high tech firms.”

Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss, First Round Review
“The single most important thing a boss can do, Scott has learned, is focus on guidance: giving it, receiving it, and encouraging it.”

To Lead Change, Explain the Context, Harvard Business Review
“People have to see why what they’re doing has to change, why they should suddenly be moving in a new direction.”

Straight Talk about Communication, The L Group
“What’s the one thing we do more than anything else, but typically do it less effectively than anything else? Communicate.”

3 Questions Executives Should Ask Front-Line Workers, Harvard Business Review
Get out of your office and ask, “How can I help you?”
Get out on the front lines and ask, “Why are we doing it this way?”
Get out to your farthest perimeters and ask the question, “How are we doing in living out our values?”

Analytical Leaders build business solutions, Kathleen Kerwin on LinkedIn
“Analytic leaders need to be developed throughout the organization to make business decisions using statistics, quantitative and qualitative analysis and information modeling.”

by Kristeen Bullwinkle and the team

Do you have any additional readings to add to this list?



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