Trick question! They all are.

It’s tempting to make the assumption that there is one personality style that’s most naturally suited to lead. The truth is, great leaders come in all personality types.

People that fall into each of the four major DISC personality styles all have the potential to be effective and capable leaders—Their innate leadership styles, however, will naturally be very different from one another. Whether you’re looking to find the best person to promote into a management position, or are working to bring out your own inner leader, the best place to start is by identifying the special talents that each personality type instinctively bring to a leadership role.

Why a D Style Personality Makes a Great Leader

People with a D style personality don’t just like to be in charge, they need to be in charge. They are their most content and productive when given a leadership role, which makes sense considering their major strengths are making quick decisions, delegating tasks, creating action plans, and seeing the big picture. They are tough-minded, driven, demanding, and not afraid of confrontation. As a leader, a person with a D style personality is ambitious, forceful, commanding, fearless, and driven. They want results now, and as a result their leadership style is strong and direct.

Leaders with a D style personality command the respect of other through their confident, authoritative style. They are as demanding of others as they are of themselves. When they give direction, people tend to follow through without debate. Best of all, executives and managers with a type D personality are unflinching in the face of conflict, and are not afraid of dealing with difficult issues head-on.

D Style Leader: Jack Welch (GE)

D Style Leader: Jack Welch (GE)

Why an I Style Personality Makes a Great Leader

Whereas D Style leaders command the respect of others through their direct and demanding personalities, leaders with an I personality are extroverts that bring people together using their charm, charisma, and enthusiasm. They are the kind of leaders that people love to be around because of their magnetic personalities. I style leaders are great at communication and enjoy an interactive environment, making them masters of creating strong and cohesive teams.

I style leaders have boundless energy, genuinely enjoy the company of others, and are able to naturally motivate and inspire the people around them. They are likeable, easy to talk to, and are often able to diffuse conflict using their sharp sense of humor. They are also extremely persuasive, and their natural optimism makes the people around them believe that anything is possible.

I Style Leader: Richard Branson

I Style Leader: Richard Branson

Why an S Style Personality Makes a Great Leader

S style leaders are collaborative, considerate, and communicative. They place great value on the overall cohesiveness of the group, and prioritize creating a respectful, positive, mutually beneficial environment.  S style leaders are very attentive to the needs and wellbeing of others. They are good listeners that are inclusive of other people’s ideas, and are excellent at mediating conflict in a stressful environment.

S leaders are calm, patient, and relaxed. They tend to put everyone at ease, and are seen by others as dependable and supportive. If a cooperative and harmonious environment is what you’re looking to create, there’s no better leader than a S personality.

S Style Leader: Larry Page (Google)

S Style Leader: Larry Page (Google)

Why a C Style Personality Makes a Great Leader

Leaders with a C style personality are methodical and organized. They use their natural strengths in analysis and planning to look at problems from all sides, and put a great deal of thought into calculating any course of action. Perfectionists at heart, they hold everyone that works for them to high standards of excellence.

Leaders with a C personality are excellent at enforcing deadlines, creating schedules, and are sticklers for accuracy. Through demonstrating an example of thoughtful, calculated problem solving, they inspire the people around them to think decisions through carefully and to examine problems from all possible angles.

C Style Leader: Bill Gates

The Bottom Line:

When you brainstorm a list of the most sought-after qualities of a leader, what would you put down? Flexibility? Communication? Organization? Vision? Authority?

To find the leader that is best for your organization (or to become the best leader you can possibly be), it’s best to think about what your organization needs. Is your office a chaotic environment? Giving a leadership position to (or adopting the leadership traits of) a controlled C or a stable S might help smooth things out. Need someone to lead the company through major changes? D or I style personalities would be a smart choice.

When find yourself in a leadership position, DISC helps you identify the natural strengths you can rely on. Want to learn about your DISC personality style? Click here to take our free personality test and get your own DISC report.

Interested in learning more about how the different DISC personalities work together in a team environment? Check out our D3 ReportIn it, you’ll find more detailed information about the ways in which personality, values, and thinking styles all impact leadership and on-the-job performance.



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