In their “Lessons for Life” section, the Chicago Tribune focused on dealing with co-workers who need to lead – the people who can’t handle not being in charge of the group. For people with a strong leadership streak who are constantly battling for authority, it is important to look into why they have this behavior.
Sharon Birkman Fink, President and CEO of Birkman, contributes to the article, sharing that some people are uncomfortable if they are not in a leadership role, just as others are uncomfortable when thrust into leadership. It is important to look at your organization’s needs and see if there’s a way to put that person’s talents to work productively rather than trying to redirect their natural strengths.
“There are certain personality types who are better off being in charge,” said Sharon Birkman Fink, CEO of Birkman International, a firm that reveals underlying motivators that drive behavior and improve workplace performance. “There are other personality types who are better off working in an independent way, and some are better working as solo practitioners. It is important to assess your team and realize their strengths and preferences if you are trying to get results. If you have a worker who is a good soldier and wants to be told what to do, and they are asked to take charge, you could be hurting your bottom line.”
“If that’s their temperament, it’s not about you — it’s about their own needs,” Fink said. “When we have striking differences it’s easy for us to say, ‘You’re doing this to irritate me!’ When in fact it isn’t about the person who is feeling threatened.”
“The more you press them, the more they will rebel,” said Fink. “This might require some serenity, where you focus on what you can change. … At the end of the day, those folks who are that unable to cooperate, their tenure in a company setting might be limited. They’ll either get moved out, or moved up where they can lead on a full-time basis.”