By Maria Adediran, Account Director, Wimbart – 28th January 2022
“Leadership is hard…very hard” that’s what I wrote on my Pros We Love profile regarding the hardest lesson to learn. Whilst this statement still rings true today, my idea of leadership has shifted over the past few years and hearing from the different mentors on The Xec. programme has definitely opened my eyes to the different facets of a great leader.
Allow me to be frank here: having spent the majority of my career working with Wimbart’s CEO, who is a great leader, what initially appealed to me was her ability to instinctually make great decisions. Have you ever sat in a client meeting where your boss has an answer or an idea for every problem a client has, no matter how complex the situation may seem? I wanted to be THAT person who could think of a solution without having to prep ahead of time. Over time, as I shadowed and learned from my CEO, I soon realised that it goes beyond decision making. You could be great at making decisions and delegating whilst being a complete nightmare to work with. So ultimately, I’ve always been inspired to not just be quick on my feet but also a nice person to work with amongst other things.
When it comes to leadership, I believe the majority of you would agree that some are born with the skills to captain a ship whilst others, such as myself, would have to develop the skills needed to get there. It goes without saying that having the ability to serve your team is one of the key components of leading them to success and boosting team morale. Essentially, the one question you need to ask your team is – how may I help you?
What I’ve come to realise is that what works for Jack might not be the best approach for Jill. In order to effectively lead others, you need to know where your strengths and weaknesses lie as well as that of your team members, collectively and individually, and many times it requires you as a leader to adjust your approach. For me personally, this can be very difficult to do.
During a Xec. masterclass, my mentor Claire Quansah, recommended the DISC test to identify our personality profile; the four traits explain your behaviour towards others and the everyday things you do. Low and behold, and not surprising to me and my immediate circle, my results were Dominance [44%], Steadiness [28%], Influence [15%] and Compliance [13%]. And the positive impact I am likely to make on people goes as follows:
Whilst these are all great attributes [if I say so myself], on the flip side, dominant personalities can be considered as being too assertive and they are more likely to clash with steady personalities. As someone who leads a variety of teams across many accounts, I’m always looking at ways to tweak the way I work and communicate as well as have a lot of patience.
When you put your team first and ask how you can be of service – how may I help you? – you inadvertently improve your own potential to succeed. Being a leader is hard…very hard – but it’s also rewarding.
Do you know your DISC personality? If not, what are you waiting for?
Maria was awarded a place on The Xec. Leadership Scheme for UK-based Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Ethnic Minority PR and comms pros. She will be mentored by Claire Quansah, Head of Client and Business Development, Social.