My Leadership Style

Let’s hear it for all the Owls out there!

Odds are if you are not in the SPA Leadership Program you may not know what it means to be an owl. In this program, there are four animal types you can be that describe your leadership style – a lion, a peacock, a koala, or an owl. A lion gets to the point, gives direct honest answers, and likes to be the leader of the group. A peacock loves to socialize, they like the attention in the group, and they think about the big picture. A koala is very caring, would rather listen than talk, and is the calming one in a group discussion.

When I took the test my freshman year, I scored the highest on the owl and lowest on the lion (go figure). An owl is “The Thinker,” I like to analyze problems and projects that I am a part of. An owl is schedule-oriented, excellent problem solver, very organized and meticulous, persistent, and focused. Now I can positively say I am an owl through and through. As a student and a leader I need to know all the who, what, when, and why so I can figure out how to best approach something and solve a problem. I ask a lot of questions because I want to make sure that I am not missing any important details. My planner and making lists are my best friends because they are a visual representation of what I need to get done. I have a lot on my mind so when I write it down it is less likely I will forget the assignments I have to complete. I like structure but I am not rigid because I understand that not everything is going to be in nice little boxes. Through this program and college, I’ve learned to be flexible and learn how to work with what you have because life is messy and will throw you wicked curveballs.

Now if you want me to describe my leadership style in a more typical way, then I will stick with my MBTI preference which is ISTJ – Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging. An ISTJ is a detailed organizer, private, analytical and practical. This type is the “Most Responsible” and the person who “gets stuff done.” Since I like to get stuff done and no nonsense kind of person when a project or assignment has to get done, people do not always like having me in their group for projects. I delegate assignments and hold people accountable if it’s not completed because everybody suffers in the group if something isn’t done and that’s not how I roll. The characteristics for an ISTJ are quite similar to an owl but the MBTI is more professional than labeling people animal types although it’s not as fun.

As an ISTJ and an owl, I am cautious and reserved and I like to stay in the background. I need to feel comfortable in the environment I am in before I let my guard down and personality show with my co-workers or classmates. I always welcome feedback and criticism because I know there is always something I can be doing better. I want to make sure that I am doing my best and if there is something that isn’t working, then it’s better to know so I can fix it. Reading this you might think I am a very Type A but I can be fun and funny too, I swear!