Home / Workforce Management & Planning / Leadership Skills & Management / Leaders: You’re a genius and didn’t even know it

Leaders: You’re a genius and didn’t even know it

Leaders: You’re a genius and didn’t even know it

You know those childhood competitions where everybody gets a trophy? Yeah, we’re not talking about that. In business, not everybody gets to be the big boss. It’s a grown-up world, and it takes something special to be a great leader. The good news is that you can look to a true genius for leadership expertise—that’s you, if you didn’t know it already. But where does your genius lie and exactly what type of leader are you?

Four kinds of genius

Roger James Hamilton, author of The Millionaire Master Plan: Your Personalized Plan to Financial Success, says there are four kinds of genius. Adapting Chinese and Indian teachings more than 5,000 years old, Hamilton says geniuses are “smart” about:

  • Ideas
  • People
  • Senses
  • Details

He offers examples: Albert Einstein was Ideas Smart because he was creatively brilliant; Oprah Winfrey, a charismatic leader, is People Smart; Mother Teresa was Senses Smart for selflessly serving others; Mark Zuckerberg is Details Smart by focusing on systems and information.

“This is why one-size-fits-all books that insist on just one way to lead or manage will often contradict each other,” Hamilton says. “We all have a mix of geniuses, but we have one that is more dominant and when we focus at it, we can focus on our natural leadership style that suits our strengths—and allow others to do the same.”

So who are you? Are you like Oprah, an approachable champion for others? Are you an Einstein with creative solutions to problems in the workplace? Perhaps there is a little Mother Teresa in you, sacrificing for the higher cause?

Were you born for this?

Contrary to popular belief, great leaders are not born. Gary Burnison, an author on leadership traits, learned this while writing about some of the world’s top leaders. In a Monster interview, Burnison said some leadership qualities are innate, but they are “developed over time through experiences, increased responsibilities, and greater accountability.”

He said the best leaders care about their people. They empower others to stretch and do more than they thought possible. They inspire and instill confidence. Most importantly, he said, they listen. “Remember: listen, learn, and then lead—in that order,” he said. “Most people do not listen enough. When the other person is speaking, we’re busy thinking about the next thing that we want to say.”

What does all this mean for you?

The bottom line is that you already have some leadership qualities within you, but being a leader means accurately identifying those qualities, cultivating new ones, and ultimately putting them to work to achieve common goals. When it comes to identifying the qualities that you have and that you need, a good first step is to utilize an employee survey. This feedback can be invaluable as you cultivate the leadership style your organization needs.

Exercise your leadership styles in management with an effective recruiting plan

What type of leader are you and, more important, how does this fit within your organization? As you work on aligning your leadership style with the goals of your business, you should also look for the right qualities of genius and leadership throughout the hiring process. Not sure where to begin? Get help finding the right people, as well as expert recruiting advice, hiring trend stats, and even great deals with Monster Hiring Solutions.