Analytical and reserved, Deliberate leaders provide a sense of stability for the group by communicating clearly and ensuring that decisions are made carefully. In my career and personal life, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some great Deliberate minds. These leaders rarely provide a lot of gushing praise, but they bring a great deal of value to their teams and organizations. Here are three things that I’ve learned from Deliberate leaders:
Clarity is Essential
Fresh out of college, I took a job as a text researcher, primarily doing work for the U.S. Postal Service’s commemorative stamp program. My manager was off-the-charts Deliberate—a former National Geographic staffer who taught me a thing or two about fact-checking and the English language. She brought me to tears more than once, but I wouldn’t trade those lessons for anything. I learned the importance of honing a message, and this skill—which applies to both the spoken and written word—has served me well both personally and professionally.
Expert Viewpoint: In the Successful Executive’s Handbook, Susan Gebelein et al advise, “Use clear reasoning, make compelling points, and have relevant supporting information, such as examples, statistics, analogies, and quotations from experts.”
Good Decisions Require Analysis
I’m learning this lesson from the Deliberate leader who I live with—my husband! Leadership responsibilities no doubt carry over into our personal lives every day, and co-leading a family is no easy feat. In our house, most decisions get made via spreadsheet. From baby names to major expenses, everything gets catalogued, prioritized, and ranked. Not only do we quantify the information (when possible), but we come back to it over time; decisions aren’t made on a whim. I may be slightly more impulsive than my partner, but I appreciate the analytical skills he brings to the table.
Expert viewpoint: In a 2006 commencement address, former US defense official Gloria Duffy said, “Visionary leaders integrate many kinds of information to form a judgment. They collect information thoroughly, ask rigorous questions, fully analyze their decisions, and avoid basing judgments on best-case scenarios or wishful thinking.”
Our product development team here at Inscape Publishing is a fairly well-rounded group when it comes to personality. We are a bit heavy on the Inclusive and Resolute Dimensions but also have a little Pioneering and Deliberate thrown into the mix. And thank goodness for that one Deliberate leader among us! She often keeps us grounded when those of us who have a propensity to fall in love with new ideas start to get carried away. She’s all for innovation, but not without careful thought—she provides the steady voice of reason when some are ready to dive right in.
Expert viewpoint: In The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner write, “There are no economies in always changing; constant changes in direction and in the ways things are done are confusing and costly to everyone.” They go on to say, “The issue isn’t whether to have routines but which routines to have. Those few essential routines that serve the key values of the organization should be worshiped.”
How about you? What lessons have you learned from Deliberate leaders?