Monday, August 31, 2009

Myers Briggs--So what?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a popular test used by many companies to help develop leaders. Often, I will run into people who just underwent the assessment at a company-sponsored seminar and they are excited to tell me that they are a "ENTJ" or an "INFP" (I happen to be an ENTP based on my last assessment). People like to "be" something as long as that "something" tends to be positive. This kind of personality trait indicator gives people that ability.

But so what?

I mean, what do you do with that information after you have it? Do you now have to somehow memorize the types of every member of your team? Or do you just note it in your files? Do you reflect on what your own type means to you and your team? Do you change the way you approach things?

Unfortunately, for many of the companies I know that have done Myers-Briggs (or a similar program), the assessment is not the first step in a leadership development is the ONLY step.

Any time you can gain insight into why you or others do things in certain ways, your potential to be a great leader has increased. But to move from potential leader to actual effective leader, you must actually do something with that information. It takes more than just knowing that you are a "ENTP".

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