CEO Coaching: Does Your Personality Fit Your Environment?

I asked my clients several months ago: “How will AI impact your business?” Several began using it almost immediately for personal productivity (e.g., writing press releases for product announcements and crafting emails about delicate issues), but they also have grander, more strategic thoughts. Why do some ignore AI and show frustration with the conversation, and some enthusiastically try to figure out how to use it? (This doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about possible negative societal impacts.) The difference in thought process is interesting.

Many personalities can be successful in a leadership role. In my polarized example, one is steady-as-she-goes, thoughtful, focused on execution, and best suited to lead in organizations that have mostly unwavering business models. The other is curious, embraces strategic change, is prone to daydream, and has a bit of “shiny object” syndrome. They’re best suited to lead in organizations that are more fluid and have multiple ways to address a market or even create a new one. 

I described these two leaders in a polarized way for illustration, but of course everyone is somewhere on the spectrum. It’s useful, however, to know which camp you’re more comfortable in and what your business requires. If you look into the future and see changing market or competitive conditions, you better curious or let someone else take the helm. On the other hand, if you see more of the same, you better get joy out of running a tight ship and hewing to well-developed standards. (Radical disruption, however, can occur when the creative type digs into the previously unchanging business model.)

Leaders must develop some skill and much understanding of both the curious mindset and the one that appreciates consistent execution. (Yes, you can develop some of both!) However, you also have some inherent gifts that may trend toward one end of the spectrum. 

Are your gifts correct for your current organization? If not, what are you doing about it? Personal development or finding a better fit are the two most obvious options.

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