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14 Insights Into How Talents And Personality Influence Leadership Performance

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at November 15, 2021

Every leader brings a unique set of experiences, talents, strengths and weaknesses to the table. Certain qualities are more useful and effective in leadership than others, and it’s important to remember this when thinking about your impact on your employees. Teams will likely follow the example set by a leader, so leaders should be conscious of how they act.

Below, 14 Forbes Coaches Council members explain how each leader’s personality and talents influence the way they perform and lead, for better or for worse. Keep these insights in mind as you reflect on your personal leadership style and efficacy.

1. Great Communication Creates Effective Teams

A leader who understands their strengths and communication style, and more importantly, understands their team’s strengths and communication styles, is exponentially more effective. Unfortunately, many leaders had poor leaders as a model and aren’t incentivized to expand their self-awareness. With five generations in the workforce and the Great Resignation currently underway, the traditional ways won’t work anymore. – Marcia Narine Weldon, Illuminating Wisdom

2. Mindful Leaders Consciously Create Culture

Each leader has a unique footprint, which is their personality and talent. This footprint has the power to build a personal and organizational legacy. Mindful leaders recognize this power and use it wisely and to their benefit in terms of the outcomes they want, the culture they want to build and the employee experience that they wish to create. – Rittu Sinha, The Balanced Bandwagon

3. Adaptability Serves Leaders In Diverse Environments

Every individual has unique values, skills, gifts and talents. Great leaders are authentic and have good emotional intelligence around these things and how they play out in their leadership. Being agile and adaptable with those values, skills, gifts and talents will allow them to lead in diverse environments. Overplaying your strengths is one way they can become impediments. – Kimberly Roush, All-Star Executive Coaching

4. Strengths Matter Less If Leaders Avoid Their Weaknesses

Most people default to their strengths and natural tendencies and avoid their weaknesses and areas of discomfort. Hence, leaders tend to lead others the way they want to be led, and they function best in their comfort zones of expertise. However, the positive attributes become problematic when there is “too much of a good thing” and they lead or act in only one way, avoiding areas of discomfort or ignorance. Balance matters. – Julie Kantor, JP Kantor Consulting

5. The Best Leaders Use Their Own Talents To Develop Others’ Talents

We often subscribe to the idea that we should treat others the way we want to be treated, as opposed to treating people the way they want to be treated or led. Leaders should be keenly aware of their leadership skills, but the best leaders know the personalities and talents of those they lead. They know how to use their own talents to draw out, promote and help develop the skills of others. – Carol Parker Walsh, Carol Parker Walsh Consulting, LLC

6. It Takes Intellect And Emotion To Create Followership

Personality and talent matter, but there’s more that’s needed to sustain positive leadership influence. Caring counts too. Effective leaders create followership by connecting with heart and convincing with intellect. It takes IQ and EQ. Emotional intelligence is so often the factor that makes the difference, drives impact and enhances leadership effectiveness. – Bill Koch, Bill Koch Leadership Coaching

7. Serving As A Connector Helps A Leader Build Relationships

For Gen Y and Gen Z, leaders play a crucial role as the connection point in the relationship between the organization and its employees. Leaders need to be authentic and trustworthy and signal that building relationships is important to them. It’s about forming a human bond that shows employees that they are part of a team in a place where they can feel welcome, included and valued. – Margaret Schweer, Tammy Erickson Associates


Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?


8. Great Leaders Tailor Their Energy And Skills To Fit The Situation 

All of the self-assessment tools we use identify core strengths, values and preferences. Good leaders understand theirs; the great ones know when to shift into core energies or use different skills when a specific situation requires it to move forward. A leader’s ability to be present enough to know what’s needed at any moment, and to bring it often, determines success versus failure. – Lisa Walsh, Beacon Executive Coaching

9. Possessing Self-Awareness Helps Leaders Maintain Balance

First and foremost, leaders must have above-average awareness of what works for them and what gets in the way. We all have personality traits and preferences that are fairly stable over time, but they can be changed—you can learn to be more assertive, or less explosive. Even traits such as empathy, if overextended, could make a leader care so much that it gets in the way of their own identity. – Susan Sadler, Sadler Communications LLC

10. Owning Both Talents And Needs Leads To Peak Performance

Articulating and owning one’s personality and unique talents, as well as the other sides of these traits, is a must for leaders. This allows them to utilize more of their natural strengths, get help with areas they are not wired for and avoid repeating the unhelpful patterns that could affect their well-being or relationships. This requires frequent reflection and mastery, but it leads to peak performance. – Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC

11. A Leader Must Understand Their ‘Box’ Before They Can Get Out Of It

When someone says to “get out of your box,” you first need to know what your “box” is made up of, which is your beliefs and your culture. These impact your perspectives and lay at the foundation of your leadership style. Three things that can help you gain greater understanding are being curious, asking for feedback and taking an emotional intelligence assessment. From this, you can learn which strengths you may be overusing. – Melinda Fouts, Success Starts With You

12. Who You Are Is How You Lead

It is a myth that you can separate your personality from your role as a leader. All leaders must develop their own “self as a leader” in order to unlock the fullest potential in themselves and their teams. Get feedback from your coworkers to reveal how you are perceived. Focus on any misalignments between that data and how you want to be known as a leader. – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC

13. Understanding Differences Brings Out The Best In People

A key benefit of understanding their own personality preferences is that leaders can be more aware and accepting of how other people are different. This allows them to proactively flex their leadership style to get the best out of others. For example, a leader who is “outcome-focused” can demotivate a person who is “people-focused.” By being more empathetic, they can engage and inspire this person instead. – Gabriella Goddard, Space Leadership Academy

14. People Act According To Leadership Models

A leader’s personality informs whether they work hard or skirt the details, diffuse conflict or escalate it, listen and engage with intention or refuse to stay curious and grateful—and you should expect your staff to mimic exactly what you model for them. – Natasha Ganem, Lion Leadership

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