How well do we, as food service leader truly knowing our self. So what is your food service leader style? There are a number of personality tests available to help you determine what your leadership style is. Reflecting on past errors and successes as a leader can offer insight. Asking for feedback from your staff and other leaders is tremendously helpful. Whichever method you choose, however, it is important be honest with yourself.
Myers Briggs is the first personality test that comes to mind. The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of Jung’s theory is that much of the seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent; due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
Visit http://www.myersbriggs.org for an explanation of the test and all of the various personality traits. Realize that personality types can change over time as life experiences and relationships may facilitate changes in world view. For example, my personality type is ENTJ, but I was previously an ENTP, so I have had changed over time.
Another option to look into is MENSA. MENSA offers Personality Tests, Emotional Intelligence Tests and more. These quizzes are available to take in various formats including online, in books, and playing card-style games. Mensa members have developed these tests to help others determine personality style. Mensa has three stated purposes: “to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence, and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members”. Visit www.mensa.org for more information.
The Ken Blanchard Company offers LBAII, Leader Behavior Analysis II. This assessment includes “Determining Style Flexibility” and “Determining Style Effectiveness,” both designed to provide you with information about your perceptions of your leadership style. Visit http://www.kenblanchard.com/Solutions/Assessments/Leadership-Behavior-Analysis-II-360-(LBA) to learn more.
Another resource is Strengths-Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. This book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader. Most importantly, it includes a test that will help you determine where you lead from. There are four areas in which you find your strengths: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building and Strategic Thinking. We, as leaders, must learn to address complications before we can lead. Finding out how you are wired could save you from picking up the pieces later.
Now I will admit there are many more resources and tests you can take that will indicate your personality style, but testing isn’t the only way to discover how to be an effective restaurant leader.
Trial and Error over time can offer insight. The ability to reflect on your actions and consequences and make the necessary changes can go a long way towards becoming an effective food service leader. However, I believe that the best way to find out how you are doing is asking for feedback. John C. Maxwell, author of over 60 books focusing on leadership, suggests asking your staff three key questions:
- “What do you want me to stop doing?”
- “What do you want me to continue to do?”
- “What do you want me start to doing?”
I will admit I have tried this and sometimes the answers I received hurt a little. But by listening to the answers given by my staff, I have learned a great deal about my leadership style. Honest communication is truly the best method I have found to achieve self-awareness. Learn to know yourself and your leadership style and you will become an effective and successful restaurant leader.