“You can use you strengths accidentally or use them on purpose,” he said. “Your challenge is to take what is unique about you and make it useful.”
Buckingham described nine types of leaders: adviser, connector, creator, equalizer, influencer, pioneer, provider, stimulator and teacher, and said they can be identified by the first question they ask.
Equalizers, for example, ask “What is the right thing to do?” Providers ask “Are you OK? Where are you at?” And influencers ask “How do I encourage you to action?”
“Every conversation is a sale,” Buckingham said of influencer leaders. “My agenda will become your agenda.”
Buckingham released the results of a pre-meeting survey given to attendees which used “situational judgment” questions to assess what type of leaders respondents are. The most common types of leader among MGMA attendees, he said were equalizers and connectors.
They were followed, in order, by teachers, creators, influencers, stimulators (who ask “Hey, how do I raise the energy in this room?”), pioneers, advisers and providers. Buckingham noted that he was surprised that providers were last on the list.
He joked that the results may be skewed because equalizers would see the survey and say to themselves, “I got this e-mail and I'm going to take this test because it's the right thing to do.”