Even if you’re not an active TikTok user, it’s likely you’ve heard the term Quiet Quitting. The phenomenon has been the subject of news segments, articles, and a popular speaking topic on the conference circuit. You can even find enough t-shirt options on Etsy to build an entire wardrobe out of quiet quitting wear while gaining valuable insight into what it looks like in today’s pop culture.
There is some internet debate about when the term originated. Some are crediting economist Mark Boldger for first referencing the term at a conference in 2009. Before it really caught steam, Bryan Creely, a corporate recruiter and career coach, posted a video explaining a seismic shift underway in the corporate workplace. Those who had grown up in the hustle culture with an incessant need to work, work, work were shifting their focus from climbing the corporate ladder to prioritizing work-life balance. Employees in the lead seat during the tough hiring times were starting to do the bare minimum to maintain their position, and companies desperate to hire were saying the minimum amount was better than no amount. And then the term took on a life of its own when TikTok user @zaidleppelin posted a video describing quiet quitting and denouncing hustle culture. In one month, it got more than 3 million views, according to KnowYourMeme.com.
After it went viral, everywhere I turned people were talking about it and asking our Omnia team to comment on it. At first, I mistook the meaning of it based on misguided assumptions, which I’m often prone to jump on. I thought it meant “quit and stay,” which was a term an executive at my former company would say back in the early 2000’s referring to people who were doing less than the bare minimum — those who had completely checked out but hadn’t officially quit. The more I dug into it, though, the more I realized it was quite different and something to pay more attention to. Although I still see it as a viral reaction to an age-old problem, the core of the issue is people are quiet quitting because they aren’t engaged, motivated, or feeling valued. It’s not limited to a certain generation, and it’s not a leader vs. employee issue. And yet it is pervasive, and we need to address it if we want to have thriving businesses.
The data on quiet quitting is concerning. A recent poll from Gallup indicates that quiet quitters make up 50% of the workforce today. Many quiet quitters fit Gallup's definition of being "not engaged" at work — people who do the minimum required and are psychologically detached from their job. This describes half of the U.S. workforce. According to Gallup, everyone else is either engaged (32%) or actively disengaged (18%). The actively disengaged are also known as the “loud quitters" who spread their dissatisfaction broad and wide, aiming to bring others along in their disengagement. So not only do we need to be concerned about quiet quitters but also about the loud quitters in your workplace who could intensify the problem.
Clearly this is a trend that can’t be ignored. As leaders, we need to address it head on, and it begins with our own self check.
According to a recent study by SHRM, managers were 2x more likely than individual contributors to be looking for a new job. Corporate managers are rapidly burning out and finding their jobs 10 times harder than before the pandemic. Leaders are struggling across the board with staff retention, hiring, and team performance.
Front line managers are the key to driving performance, team dynamics, culture, and engagement. In small and medium-sized businesses, managers wear multiple hats and are typically asked not just to manage all aspects of their team’s work but also to perform many of the same functions themselves. It’s no wonder that front line leaders are tempted to quiet quit themselves. If you’re facing this yourself, here are some ways to address it.
The first step is considering what is causing us to be dissatisfied or disengaged with work. Is it an overwhelming workload, insufficient resources, conflicts with colleagues, a values misalignment between you and your organization, or something else? Whatever the cause, identifying and putting a name on it is the first step so you can plan from here.
When we’re feeling disengaged ourselves, we can quickly go down a slippery slope of feeling the “ain’t it awfuls.” One way to overcome this is to adapt a growth mindset over a fixed mindset. Individuals with fixed mindsets view challenges as constant and unfixable. They operate from a mindset of scarcity vs. abundance. This can’t be changed overnight, but there are some great books and courses on this topic to help develop a change in attitude. Through development of a growth mindset, leaders can combat complacency and stay motivated at work.
One reason you could be facing your own motivation challenges is that you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Take some time to re-prioritize and focus on what really matters. Be realistic with yourself about goals and timelines. And practice work-life balance yourself. It’s powerful to model work-life balance for your employees. When they see you logging off at 5:30 and only emailing during company hours, you’re sending a strong message that boundaries matter and you respect your time as much as theirs.
Identify what motivates you and seek alignment. It’s highly possible on any given day you are engaged in tasks that don’t align with your strengths. If you’re a big picture, strategic thinker and you’re spending the bulk of the day in spreadsheets and data mining, it’s no wonder you’re miserable.
If you’ve never taken a behavioral assessment, now is the time. With the Omnia leadership style report, you can gain critical insight into your unique leadership traits and what motivates/de-motivates you. Once you have this insight, take a good look at your daily activities and redirect activity that others are better equipped to do. This is a win–win because you’ll be empowering members of your team to take on new things that can bring them joy and satisfaction — especially when it aligns with their strengths.
Once you’ve taken care of your own motivation and mindset, it’s time to address and combat quiet quitting with your staff. Here are some actions to take.
Make sure you’re not in denial or jumping to assumptions like I did. Take the time to ask your employees their views on quiet quitting and assure them it’s a safe environment to discuss it. If you’re feeling bold, you could even admit times when you’ve felt like quiet quitting. The key here is not to point fingers or place blame. There’s a reason this topic is trending. Acknowledging the reality of it with your employees is the first step in overcoming it, especially if you can get down to the root causes.
The only way to know if your staff is quiet quitting and identify the root cause is to develop a culture where people feel safe being open and where feedback is welcome. You can begin with an anonymous employee engagement survey. When you collect input and take noticeable actions toward improvement, you send a strong message that the company cares and is committed to creating a better work environment.
When I first started delving into the quiet quitting quandary, I polled a group of early career professionals ranging in ages 23-35. The energy and enthusiasm behind their multitude of responses was compelling! The common and most profound theme was how bored, misaligned, and underappreciated each of them feels in their jobs.
A staggering 9 out of 10 employees would take a lower salary for more meaningful work, according to research from BetterUp. Work with your team to set realistic goals that align with your vision and mission for the organization and that they can get enthusiastic about. Give continued feedback on their impact through recurring and consistent 1x1 meetings where you also discuss their concerns, job satisfaction, and progress toward career goals beyond the current role. Celebrate and reward their accomplishments along the way — don’t wait for year-end results and award banquets.
Work from home and hybrid work teams have blurred the lines between work and home, and there’s also a lack of comradery that office environments typically offer. This is another reason burnout and disengagement are rising. Learning something new is energizing — especially when employees can practice new skills side by side in a nurturing environment with their peers. Companies that invest in providing on-going professional development opportunities such as formal training programs, mentoring initiatives, and industry tradeshows and networking not only benefit from upskilling their staff, but the employees see it as a sign that you value them as individuals and are willing to invest in their succ
Every individual is unique when it comes to what motivates and inspires them. Just as it is important to know ourselves, it’s critical to understand the unique traits and motivators of your employees. Quiet quitting will never be addressed in a one-size-fits-all approach. This is where a behavioral assessment can also be helpful.
All Omnia reports include a section that outlines motivational strategies to use and demotivators to avoid for each personality style. For example, if you have an individual who is highly assertive (a tall column 1 on the Omnia personality assessment), they are motivated by performance-based incentives like commission, bonuses, and competitions. Individuals with a tall column 7 want the freedom to define their goals and achieve them in their own way. And individuals with a tall column 8 thrive with structured guidelines for work output, clear directions from management, and reassurance from management when expectations are being met. Understanding the unique qualities of the individuals on your team and adapting the way you set their goals, provide feedback, and recognize them fosters an environment where people feel valued and have the space to thrive.
Quiet quitting is a real issue that can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Don't dismiss it as a passing trend; take action to prevent negative consequences. Omnia is here to help. Contact our team to discover how our reports can assist you in evaluating your work preferences, recognizing the unique qualities of your team members, and coaching and developing them to achieve optimal success and growth. You’ll reduce the likelihood of quiet quitting and ensure that everyone is engaged and productive.
For many of us, the last few years have felt like a few decades. The world changed by the minute, and we did our best to keep up. But, while the coming year may be less volatile, we can still expect significant shifts in the business landscape. That means, as leaders, we need to be ready to pivot.
Let’s explore five of the biggest management and leadership trends you can expect to see in 2023. That way, you can be prepared to turn challenges into successes.
Professionals are voting with their feet and leaving organizations that don’t help them achieve their goals or align with their values. Unfortunately, these departures can leave gaping holes in your team, slow productivity, and tank employee morale.
But, while you should partner with the human resources department to replace key players, you must simultaneously address the underlying cause of the turnover. Your primary focus has to shift from recruiting new employees to retaining the ones you already have. Otherwise, you’ll stay stuck in a reactive loop of solving short-term staffing problems instead of being able to take a proactive approach to maintain an engaged workforce built for the long haul.
As you develop your employee retention strategy, be sure to consider the following:
Then, be sure to revisit your strategy annually and revise it as needed.
You spend your day attending meetings and putting out fires. But how long has it been since you invested in your career growth? If you can’t remember the last time you read a book, participated in a training, or took a course, you’re due for some professional development. Start with learning the leadership personality types so you have a foundation for creating a plan that aligns with your preferences for learning, growing, and communicating. Leadership Personality Styles | Leadership Development
Keep your existing skills sharp and regularly learn new ones to become and remain an effective leader. That way, you can get the most from your workforce, effectively support your team members, and respond to ever-changing business demands.
While you may have always thought of supporting your employees as a natural part of being a leader, be prepared for that part of your role to expand. Many of your workers have endured and continue to endure significant hardship. As a result, they’ll look to you for empathy and guidance as they balance their professional responsibilities with their personal lives.
Ongoing training about communication, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and diversity, equity, and inclusion can help you provide better support to your team. It also helps to know the personality types on your team. A behavioral assessment for each team member gives you a clear roadmap for effectively supporting each person in a way that will resonate with them as individuals.
Sure, your employees want to earn a high salary, work from home, climb the corporate ladder, and enjoy other perks. But they also want to work for a leader and organization that operates ethically and in accordance with values similar to theirs.
That means you should get clear on your values and lead by them. You should also hold yourself to the highest ethical standards to model that behavior for your team.
All-star talent and consumers alike now demand that corporations make decisions through an environmentally and socially conscious lens. Companies that don’t will lose employees, customers, and market share faster than you can say, “What happened?”
As a leader, you can help every stakeholder view your firm in a favorable light by implementing sustainability practices, taking time to give back to your community, and treating your team members with respect.
Here are a few specific things you could do:
Of course, just like your employee retention strategy, your environmentally and socially conscious initiatives should get updated often.
While the world changes rapidly, the core of doing business remains the same: helping people. You can help the people on your team by knowing them — and yourself — exceptionally well.
That’s where we come in. Our proven, easy, and fast behavioral assessment reveals practical insights about every test taker, including their communication style and work preferences. You can apply what you learn to develop as a leader and offer customized guidance and support to each worker.
The end result? A more engaged team committed to you and the organization for 2023 and beyond.
It’s tough out there. People are reprioritizing what they want at work and leaving jobs that aren’t meeting those needs. We’ve talked a lot about ways to increase engagement and improve retention, but none of that matters if you aren’t taking a close look at your own leadership strengths and weaknesses. We hear, more often than not, that people leave managers not jobs. So even if an employee likes their job and feels a sense of purpose at work, they are likely to look elsewhere if they do not connect well with their boss and will most certainly leave if they don’t like their boss.
Even if you’re an awesome manager and your people adore you, there’s always room for improvement! Acknowledging what you struggle with can be just as useful as being aware of what you do well.
Below is a ridiculous list of some extreme leadership styles. Be honest, can you spot hints of yourself in there?
There is NO doubt you are the boss. You make the rules, and everyone falls in line…or else. The job is your life. You demand perfection and there is no such thing as work/life balance for you or anyone else. You enjoy setting ridiculous goals that you know will be close to impossible to achieve and you provide little to no direction. It makes people better and stronger! Of course, when people achieve your goals, you do not offer a hint of gratitude. It’s their job after all, why congratulate them?
Sure, you know your stuff and you want things right. There is no goal you can’t achieve, and you command results from others. But fear only works as a motivator for so long. If you aren’t providing any real support, motivation, empathy, direction, or recognition, you are inviting any sane employee to look for another job. Even if they don’t leave, having such a fierce personality will inhibit others, instead of inspiring them. Your team likely has some great ideas that they are too scared to express.
You just want to be liked, accepted, popular. You would rather do almost anything else than upset your team, especially the ones you like. Sharing bad news, making unpopular decisions, stepping up to quickly stop performance problems from getting out of control… you don’t like it, so you don’t do it. You see it as being supportive and empathetic, and you don’t want to lose people. But your team, at least the A-players, don’t see it that way at all.
Sure, you keep staff happy(ish); they know you care about them. You create a fun work environment and foster a sense of team; you value culture, as we all should. But, as awful as it is to admit, some people will take advantage of a nice guy. Someone is always going to test boundaries or sink to your lowest level of acceptance. If you aren’t ready to hold everyone accountable, you will have some people working hard and others coasting along collecting paychecks. Which group do you think is looking elsewhere?
You love procedures and you don’t miss a trick. You have your eye on everything and have an uncanny ability to detect when a mistake has been made...or maybe it's the constant monitoring of everyone, every day. There is no room for ambiguity or experimentation. Sadly, life doesn’t always work the way we expect and a good leader needs to be ready to roll with the punches while encouraging their team to do the same.
Sure, your team follows the rules and rarely makes mistakes. Of course, when they do, you are right on hand to correct them. You have a great idea of people’s strengths and weaknesses. But, people are demoralized by micromanagement and need to be comfortable solving their own problems. If they know what they are doing, they need to be trusted to do it. Give your team the chance to try their own methods and express ideas.
Then there’s the manager who wants everything yesterday and changes deadlines, plans, and procedures with every exhale, leaving people confused and gasping for air. Or the logic-driven leader who considers every factor in the management equation, except the human one; and the social butterfly who wants to have a “quick” meeting about every situation resulting in very little time spent working.
Of course, these are just caricatures of traits most of us have to some extent but seeing them in ourselves and acknowledging them is the first step towards leveraging our strengths and working on our weaknesses so we are better equipped to lead and retain a strong, productive and engaged team.
Better yet, take it a step further and learn the traits of the individuals on your team. The more you manage to their needs, the more successful you’ll be at keeping people. We all want to be understood and treated as individuals.
To quote Sir Richard Branson, “Businesses are nothing more than a group of people, and they are by far and away your biggest assets.” Are you doing everything you can to bring out the best in your people?
If you want a more detailed (and more serious) exploration of your management assets and growth opportunities, contact us today and ask about our Leadership Style Reports.
Before I started work at The Omnia Group, I worked briefly in the marketing department of an investment firm. Looking back, I don’t think my manager (we’ll call her Darla) had much experience as a manager. What she did have was a LOT of energy for marketing and a lot of ideas. When an idea came to her, she wanted to (and wanted her staff to) act on it immediately. On paper, that sounds great. In action, well, it was chaos. Projects were started and abandoned. I would get pulled off a task because some new idea would come up. Sometimes she had plans she thought she’d told me about but hadn’t. The deadlines were all yesterday. It got to be a bit much, and I eventually left. (They say people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers, and I definitely left Darla).
Shortly after, I joined Omnia as an analyst. The analysts are the ones who write the assessment reports, so we spend a lot of time in training going over the results, including our own. Once I understood what I was looking at, I laughed when I saw my column 6. It was TALL! Omnia uses an 8-column bar graph to visually represent personality traits. Column 6 measures the need for predictability and stability. I agree that I need those things, but I remember being VERY decisive about some of the words I selected when taking the assessment after working with Darla. I retroactively diagnosed myself with something I called Darla Poisoning.
I don’t want to imply she was a bad person. She wasn’t. She just wasn’t a good manager, especially not for me. And since managing was a secondary part of her job (marketing being first), she really wasn’t interested in learning how to manage me or anyone else effectively.
That brings us to…
As mentioned recently, there are certain traits that make being a manager more natural, primarily assertiveness and independence/big-picture orientation. But those traits are not necessarily ideal for all the positions being managed. For example, a person who is quite assertive might not always be as helpful or accommodating as needed for handling support and service duties. You don’t want your customer service agent always trying to “win” an interaction with a customer. A person who is big-picture oriented may not always want to use required processes or pay attention to the details needed to accurately handle data or administration.
In Darla’s case, being quick and big-picture oriented suited her role as a manager – there were a lot of priorities for her to handle and a lot of innovation was required. But the people who were trying to perform the work needed more time and information to get it right. We also needed more direction and information. She expected us to read her (very busy) mind.
It’s important for managers to reflect on the kind of traits necessary to succeed in a given role and embrace the differences among them and their staff. Have you ever contemplated doing a task that you’re about to delegate and thought something like, “Ugh, I would rather stroll through a lion’s den with lunch meat in my pocket than do this?” If so, that’s a great clue that someone with a different set of traits than yours might need to tackle the project.
Also, don’t underestimate other people’s abilities to enjoy something you would hate doing. I could enter data all day long and be fairly content, while it would make someone else crazy. But I would likely turn into dust if I had to give a bunch of presentations.
(Be realistic about this too, though. At a different previous job, my manager, we’ll call her Marla, assigned me to periodically smell the bathrooms after a heavy rain to make sure the plumbing wasn’t backing up. That’s not something many people would want to do.)
Understanding that not everyone wants to be managed the way you do is the first step to successful management, but keep in mind that not everyone is different from you in the same way! This is not to imply that employees should have different standards or opportunities because they have different needs. Being fair is critical, but the way to help them achieve goals and grow their careers should be tailored to the employee. Some people are motivated by variety, some people are motivated by praise, some are motivated by chances to learn, some need more information or specific direction than others. Being attuned to each of your employees’ hot and cold buttons will help you manage more effectively.
Managers who are very accommodating, sensitive to criticism, or focused on maintaining relationships with employees can sometimes struggle to take a strong stance, address performance problems, or press people to meet challenging goals. They don’t want to seem mean. The problem is, they can’t avoid seeming mean if they don’t stand firm. Unfortunately, there are likely to be people who take advantage of lenient managers, and there are others who will naturally do the right thing. These are the ones who are punished by a manager who doesn’t hold people accountable. They do more work for fewer rewards, and while they might not complain, they are likely to leave.
How do you take assertive management action if you’re not an assertive person?
Even those who like having direction and want as many facts as possible don’t want every aspect of their jobs managed. Always looking over people’s shoulders inhibits learning and innovation, and it makes people feel disrespected. If you have an employee who needs closer management because they are not succeeding, this should be addressed via a performance improvement plan. It should be the exception not the rule.
If you feel the tendency to micromanage arise, as yourself these questions:
Once you’ve talked yourself down, step back. Be prepared to offer advice if mistakes are made, but be open to other ways of doing things, too!
Really any of the above problems could be broadly characterized as “communication problems” if you really think about it. Not being transparent about what you expect and not letting people know how they are doing is the fast track to employee disengagement. No matter how much we want it to be so, no employee is a mind reader.
Self-awareness is the key to avoiding management pitfalls. Contact your Omnia Client Success representative to learn more about our development reports geared toward managers and their employees. These can help you identify your strengths and challenge areas and avoid costly turnover, to avoid being a Darla.
Do you remember that scene in Jurassic Park, the original (and best) of course, when Dr. Ian Malcolm played by the talented Jeff Goldblum was explaining chaos theory using drops of water dripping down Dr. Sattler’s hand? Despite dropping the water in the same place each time, subtle, unseen variables shifted the way each drop would travel down the hand. Chaos theory shows how complex systems are extremely sensitive to slight changes that can have potentially significant consequences. Some clever foreshadowing of how the park creators were playing with fire.
After all, who knew amphibian DNA would contribute to uncontrolled dinosaur population growth? Who predicted that the annoying Seinfeld neighbor would double-cross everyone, turn the power off of the electric fences, and let the carnivores loose on the unsuspecting visitors? Who remembers that Samuel L. Jackson was in that movie? And who knew 29 years later we would still be watching new Jurassic Park movies?
Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s not possible to predict everything, especially in a wonderfully diverse, complex, and often confusing world.
People, like drops of water and artificially created dinosaurs, can be driven by subtle, unseen variables on any given day. People are complicated, we are complex systems. We have emotions, pressures, joys, ambitions, fears, and even everyday trivial details or mishaps that might shift how we react to or perceive a situation. It can be overwhelming, especially if you are leading those people. That’s why it’s important to use all the tools and information at our disposal. Some behaviors and motivations are predictable, maybe not 100% of the time, but close enough that tapping into that knowledge will give you a competitive edge and a leadership advantage. And I predict we all want that.
The best place to start is by understanding ourselves as leaders. If we only go so far as to understand our people, we are missing a key piece of the puzzle. Granted, we should not be leading strictly by how we would want to be led, but recognizing our own personal motivators and drivers can help us pivot more easily to meet the needs of our teams.
The Omnia Assessment is a short, yet powerful tool that allows people to freely describe their most comfortable personality traits. We use an 8-column bar graph to visually show an individual’s personality traits in 4 areas – Assertiveness, Sociability, Pace, and Structure. The odd-numbered columns represent active traits while the even-numbered columns represent passive traits. And the combinations contribute to Omnia’s 17 personality groups.
Here’s a look at our data behind leadership.
Assertiveness: Columns 1 and 2 measure level of assertiveness. Many successful leaders, especially if they are directly overseeing a large group of people, have a tall column 1, representing a high degree of assertiveness and leadership drive. Individuals with a tall column 1 are assertive, action-oriented, ambitious, and take charge. They are comfortable driving results, managing conflict, promoting resourcefulness, and implementing goal-oriented solutions as they coach/mentor a team. Through their assertiveness, they show a high level of ownership by taking command of activities.
Sociability: Columns 3 and 4 measure sociability which points to communication and problem-solving style. Some leaders have a tall column 3 representing a naturally outgoing communication style and an intuitive problem-solving style. They are motivational leaders who are highly sociable and verbally engaging. They have strong networking aptitude for building and sustaining strong relationships.
Though many leaders exhibit a high level of gregariousness, they also have a high level of assertiveness, which prevents them from having an overly friendly leadership approach. As long as their level of assertiveness is taller than or equal to their level of gregariousness, the leader can effectively establish an authoritative role instead of always needing to be popular with the team. When those traits are not in alignment, individuals can place a greater value on maintaining their friendships than on getting results; a debilitating problem in many leadership and sales roles.
Some leaders have a tall column 4 representing a naturally analytical problem-solving style and a direct, fact-focused communication style. They are resourceful, often serious leaders who get to the point and are always looking for problems to solve. As a result, they don’t always focus on the motivational needs of the team, not because they don’t care, but because they are searching for practical ways to improve.
Pace: Columns 5 and 6 measure pace. Often, we see leaders with a tall column 5. Column 5 individuals are fast-paced and multitasking; they have a strong sense of urgency and tend to be effective pacesetters for their team or department. They make the most efficient use of time and maximize productivity. They thrive in a deadline-driven environment and can handle the interruptions and shifting priorities of a busy corporate environment and large reporting staff.
Structure: Columns 7 and 8 measure structure. Overall, leaders have a tall column 7, which represents a low need for structure. Individuals with a tall column 7 are independent, innovative, and unruffled by setbacks. They have a natural aptitude for thinking outside the box. Column 7 leaders take criticism and rejection in stride (they have a lack of discouragement/strong resilience). They can manage around ambiguity with ease and tend to focus on the big picture versus the details.
While perhaps not as exciting as mapping dinosaur DNA, knowing the data behind successful leadership is a key to goal achievement, increased productivity, and better engagement with your team (as opposed to a recipe for destruction and mayhem). You can use this information to assess your personal leadership style, as well as your team’s tendencies, strengths, and challenges.
For the month of July, our Omnia team is putting attention on the traits of leadership in honor of the celebration of the birth of our American nation. Our first blog covered the personality traits of our founding fathers. Now we cast our eyes on current times and what revolutionary leadership looks like in today’s context.
This is a bit of a tough topic today in a world that seems more divided than ever, where leaders are shouting over each other and appear more focused on alienating ideals instead of pursuing common ground to address the core problems at hand.
Revolutionary is defined as involving or causing a complete or dramatic change. When we think about revolutionary leadership the first thing that comes to mind besides our founding fathers are the high profile leaders we see in the daily news headlines or being lauded (or condemned) across social media. Today’s revolutionary context conjures up images of courageousness, boldness, a lot of publicity and — let’s face it — sometimes the loudest voice.
When I asked my network to weigh in on this, the most popular response was Volodymyr Zelenskyy. No matter your political views, I don’t think anyone can argue that he has been the most visible demonstration of courage, fortitude and commitment to his people and cause. I admire his boldness, steadfastness, brave leadership and commitment to the people of Ukraine.
Other high-profile people who come to mind are those who have been personally impacted and are fighting a system that did them wrong with a focus on helping the next generation. I admire Aly Raisman who was willing to share her grueling and personal story of abuse and manipulation to change the tide for future women athletes. Not to mention her continued work with fellow victims to take on a behemoth like the FBI. And Megan Rapinoe fighting for salary transparency and against a culture of systemic bias that leads to unequal pay.
These are all high-profile revolutions happening in today’s time. But what about revolution at the ground level? What does it take to be a revolutionary leader wherever you are with whatever cause that means something personally to you? The good news is we can all be revolutionary in our own right if we embrace the unique and common traits of a revolutionary leader.
First let’s start with basic personality traits of all leaders and the way we define it at Omnia with science. The Omnia Leadership Profile is derived from a short yet powerful assessment instrument that allows people to freely describe their personality traits. We use an 8-column bar graph to visually show an individual’s personality traits in 4 areas – Assertiveness, Sociability, Pace, and Structure. The odd-numbered columns represent active traits while the even-numbered columns represent passive traits. All of these combinations contribute to Omnia’s 17 personality groups, a few of which are most common among leaders.
Some of the most common traits of leaders are:
All of these traits can be found in the examples of our founding fathers and in leaders we see in the headlines today. One can also argue that there can be a downside to some of these traits. When we are so assertive, so hard charging and driven to win our cause or our argument we can create an unintended consequence of turning people away. No leader has ever achieved a revolution by themselves. Every leader in our history — good or bad — has done so with a group of people who helped create the change. The best leaders bring people together and find common ground — they don’t break them down.
Revolutionary leadership doesn’t have to be headline making either. I believe some of the most impactful and dramatic changes being made today are happening at the ground level and often out of the news. One of the best examples I can think of is in my own community by my friend Mindi Vaughn. Mindi has overcome her own personal battle with addiction and is now a community leader supporting initiatives to fight addiction, help former incarcerated persons find gainful employment and end homelessness. You can learn more about Mindi’s story here. She’s come a long way even since this was filmed in 2018 and is now the manager of The Portico Café. To me, that’s revolutionary.
So I’m going to take a bold step here and make an appeal to all leaders reading this article. Let’s use our traits for good. Let’s get involved at the ground level volunteering and actively supporting causes we care deeply about. Let’s bring people together, and work together to solve the problems. Let’s listen to and engage the people whose column heights are opposite of ours. We need everyone to solve the big problems. Nobody can do it alone.
It begins with understanding ourselves and where we need support. I’d suggest you begin with taking stock of your own leadership traits. You can do so by completing the Omnia assessment, and we will provide you with a complimentary report.