Defining Leaderhip Style

Colleagues and friends tend to refer to me as a “people person”, “down to earth” and enthusiastic. I like to think I am empathetic, responsible and kind. How do I lead seemed like an innocent enough question, and the logical side of me wants to answer it with a very simplistic answer, it depends on the situation.   When we were tasked with investigating our Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I became apprehensive, slightly fearful, what if I am wrong about who I think I am and how I lead? I instantly started to reflect on past work experiences, personal relationships and life events.

In high school, I entered a vocational program to get out of classes early. I knew nothing about business but I knew that being in customer service felt good to me. I quickly developed a good follower mentality, “lead, follow or get out the way.” I eagerly did was I was told, not saying much and worked very hard. Internally hoping someone would ultimately notice how good I was and promote me solely based on hard work.

After high school, I decided to keep working and attend school part time. I began an Associate’s degree in Nursing. Again, striving to be the perfect student, secretly hoping I would get recognized for all the effort and achievements I put in day after day. During the course of the program, I decided to get a job as a medical assistant. I was the model caregiver, full of energy and empathy. Always doing what I was told with a smile on my face noticing that resentment was starting to build because co-workers were getting accolades and I was being overlooked. I thought the answer was to be persistent and my mouth shut and I would soon get my reward.

It wasn’t until my supervisor asked me one day to drop what I was doing and drive to another location that was 40 miles away to help out. Something snapped inside me, a raging, “No!” came from my lips, while thinking, “I am going to get fired.” To my surprise, she said okay with a disappointed look and walked away....