What Is Your Leadership Personality?

By: Olivia Cantor

What Is Your Leadership Personality?
Image: DrGrounds / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Today's workforce is changing in leaps and bounds. As a leader, are you ready to adapt to these changes or continue doing things the old-school way? The answer here lies in what kind of leadership personality you possess.

Speaking on what kind of leadership the world needs, a Bill Gates quote comes to mind which says "As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." Essentially, this means a boss should know how to treat employees better. They should have a clear understanding that their company's mission-vision should include their employees' welfare.

In a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, respondents identified seven important leadership traits they think mattered the most in today's workforce. On the top of that list is being honest. There's nothing like transparency to make your day, doesn't it? Who wants to work with a dishonest individual, anyway? 

Next on that list is intelligence. This is where you'll see that a boss still needs to be a visionary. The leader needs to know how to be smart in making crucial decisions for the company and its employees. In connection with that, being decisive and organized rank third and fourth, respectively, in that survey list. 

Going back to Gates' quote, to empower employees means to be compassionate about them, too. That's the sixth survey result. The seventh is being ambitious. There's nothing like a stagnant boss to disempower and discourage employees from doing their best. 

Based on these traits, what kind of leadership personality do you think you have? Go take the quiz and see!

It's your first day of being the new boss, and you just took over your office room from someone else. What's your first order of business?
Call the HR officer to give me a run-through of the employees under me. Then have them set up a one-on-one meeting with everyone.
Look at the previous administration's final reports and see where I should take off from there.
Set up a community town hall to meet and greet everyone I'll be working with.
Beautification! Have a new paint job done and decorate it according to my taste.

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Do you encourage employees to get out of their comfort zones and take on tasks they might succeed in?
Always. It's the only way they'll grow and learn.
Absolutely! That makes them more flexible when certain tasks call for certain skills.
That's up to them to decide.
Yeah, why not? But not too much or else I might develop my own competitor here later on.

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When you see an employee who's not at their desk or cubicle, what's your first thought about it?
It's fine. They might be walking around clearing their heads or getting inspiration for something. That's OK.
Someone's not doing their job ...
One demerit against this lazy one!
I'll have HR check their whereabouts.

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An employee politely declined your suggested reassignment for them. How will you react?
I'll ask the reason for declining. Then I'll see where they can best serve the company with their skill. I should make this decision in consultation with them.
Try and ask again some other time.
Oh, this person disobeyed me? I won't make them forget this day!
Offended! Do they know who they're talking to? No one declines this star!

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You already moved a pending meeting with a team twice. When they asked for a third reschedule, what do you tell them?
"Tell my secretary to book that meeting in a fancy restaurant. I want to make it up to you folks. Treat's on me!"
"So sorry for being so swamped. OK, let's squeeze that in!"
"You're in no position to demand anything from me. I'm the boss here, remember?"
Nothing. I got better things to do, always. And they know that.

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Someone applies for a vacation leave. What do you say?
"Yeah, go ahead. We all need that from time to time."
"Is it rather urgent? Just make sure you won't miss any important task because of your absence."
"When I'm here working, you should be here working, too!"
"Why? Do you have a job interview? Where are you going?"

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The receptionist took a quick restroom break. You happened to be at the reception desk when a guest came into the office and tried to ask you something. What's your reply?
"I am the boss here, not the receptionist!"
"Wait there."
"Hi. What can I do for you?"
"Who are you looking for again? Let me ask someone inside to help you."

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In a meeting, your staff produced better ideas than you. How will you react to this?
Take note of it and use it for myself later. They're just my underlings anyway.
That won't happen. I'm the only brilliant mind in that company.
Commend the person and make sure they get the credit when their work gets cited later on.
Oh, that's nice! Good, good. But wait, what's that idea again? I can't remember.

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An important meeting is about to start. Your new hire doesn't know yet if they're supposed to attend or not. How will you handle the situation?
I won't! They should know their proper place all the time in my office.
Stay outside. For VIPs only.
I'll let them join in. They should learn the ropes, and that's a good chance to start.
I'll ask the secretary to check the agenda first and whether or not that person should be there. I forget these things.

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There's an arrogant job applicant you know who directly went to you and said one of your managers wouldn't hire them for some reason. What's your course of action here?
I'll have to reprimand that manager. No one disrespects my friends this way!
If this applicant is as stellar as I am, then I must take them in immediately. I'll ask that manager why that hasn't happened yet.
I trust my people to know what's good for the company. I don't care if the applicants know me. Arrogance won't work for me, too.
I'll have to talk to the manager in question for their reasons. Then maybe decide after that.

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The company announced they will give limited bonuses for certain individuals only this quarter. How will you distribute it?
For me and my close followers only, of course.
I'll let HR handle it. I'm too important to be thinking of that.
I'll see who performed well this quarter and distribute it to them for added incentive.
I'll check the roster of the past quarter and see who didn't receive any bonus yet. It's important for everyone to be happy.

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Your staff worries about taking on the direction you want in a project because it's not profitable but only charitable. What's your reaction to their feedback?
"Profit is not the sole reason for our existence. We should also serve humanity whenever we can."
"Let's just do this one time. See it my way. Let's see what happens."
"OK folks, I trust your judgment. Let's go with your decision."
"Really? Well, OK. We'll go with whatever will make me look good in the end."

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It's beyond 6 p.m. already but you're still there in your office. Your staff feels hesitant to leave. What do you do?
Tell them not to mind me and follow their work schedule. It's fine.
Appreciate their concern and delegate more tasks to whoever's still there.
Let them leave and apologize for not making that clearer earlier.
Oops, I forgot that it's time to leave! I'll ask everyone to leave with me.

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In a feedback report, an employee expressed an interest in learning a new skill in another department within your company. What will you do?
Assess the situation and see if it can work. If not, I'll have to discourage it. But I'll encourage them to find something else that the company can offer.
If that will enhance their productivity in getting things done faster and smoother, I'll give it a go.
Support it all the way. That's how people learn new things. Go for it!
Oh, do we have that option? I can't remember. I'll have to reassess again.

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Christmas holidays are coming up but you've got a limited budget for giving gifts to clients and employees this year. What preparation will you do?
Find a suitable way to have everyone receive gifts. Doesn't matter how small; the token of appreciation is what counts.
Give it to select clients who matter more for the business.
Check if I can afford it. Give everyone gifts. It's the season. I don't mind shouldering the extra expense.
Give gifts to employees only. They're the ones that matter more ... because they work for me and with me.

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A key employee suddenly calls in sick on a big presentation day. How will you react?
Ask the next one in line to take their place. We're well-prepared in these situations. Not a problem.
A bit irritated. Guess I'll have to do it myself.
I hope they're OK. Let's just reset it for another time, then.
Oh my! I don't know! Everyone has their roles. Maybe someone can ask that employee to email their part? Get their files?

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Before getting promoted as a boss, several coworkers suddenly became close to you and pandered to your interests. When you become the boss, what will you do to these coworkers?
Nothing. I know they're only there to support their self-interests. I don't like working with people like that.
If I can make them listen to me more as a boss, I'll consider putting them in certain positions. That might work.
Give them all the important positions in my administration, of course! That's how I reward loyalty.
Reward them with something. It's my way of thanking them for thinking I'm stellar!

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A pending event spearheaded by a specific department is in danger of failing. What do you do as the boss?
See what they need to succeed. I'll ask other departments to help if necessary. We're all in this together, you know.
Reprimand them and ask why it's in that state. Then I'll do something to help.
Penalize that whole department! I hate incompetence! Salary deductions for everyone!
Micromanage! I can't have any department ruining my stellar reputation!

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When planning for a team building event, one employee tells you "I don't need to attend that to do my job well." How will you react?
Shocked! But I'll also tell that employee to attend. It's a team building, after all. I'm attending so everyone should, too.
Such arrogance. Make a mental note later to check if this employee indeed performs well enough as they say.
Fire them on the spot! No one dares to question my authority.
Wow, feeling stellar, too? I'm the only one around here who can do that. I'll make a note to HR to check their contract and see if we can shorten it.

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You delegated specific duties to key people for a big event. Will you be at peace with that decision?
Of course. I trust my people to do their job well.
I'll have to check from time to time, just to make sure.
Ready the second liners in case I need to fire someone from that incompetent pool.
Yes, especially since I delegate those kinds of duties to key people who are nearly as stellar as me.

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A fight suddenly broke out between two employees. How will you handle the situation?
Take them to a more private place so we can process what happened and resolve the conflict.
Stop it on the spot and resolve it immediately on the spot, too.
Kick them both out!
Get mad! This kind of thing damages my reputation. I'll reprimand both employees.

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Higher management lauded an idea you presented. But your immediate employees know that this idea came from one of them during your brainstorming session. How will you handle it?
Finders keepers. I don't care. The glory is all mine! I presented it first.
What are you saying? That brilliant idea can only come from brilliant me. That's mine, I'm sure.
Apologize and clarify that the origins of the idea came from my team. Always give credit where credit is due.
Smile at higher management. Then later appease my staff and treat them to pizza while explaining that this is how it works sometimes.

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When a certain department complained of you playing favorites and leaving them out sometimes, how will you address this concern?
How dare they question my authority and decision-making? They have no right!
That's how I am. I gravitate toward the most stellar group all the time. Take it or leave it.
Apologize and say that's not my intention. Then make efforts to be more inclusive of everyone next time.
Panic! I don't want anyone in my staff hating me! Give gifts and treat them out. No one should feel this way.

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Your longtime industry pal submitted a project proposal that your younger employee didn't recommend for funding. When your pal complained to you, what will you do?
Fire that incompetent upstart! I don't need them to ruin my connections with important people.
Simply override the decision and let my pal get the funding. But ask HR for that employee's contract details and see if we can make "amendments" to it.
Strike a balance. I'll check the pros and cons of the proposal from my employee and relay them to my pal in a very diplomatic manner.
I don't want to upset my employee and override their decision. Maybe I'll just find my pal something else to do for the company, in secret.

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Someone anonymously accused you of being power-hungry. What will you do?
Everyone is a suspect! Of course, they all hate me here. That's because I'm very effective! I'll monitor and find out who this was.
Ha-ha-ha-ha! I already have the most power here. How can that be?
Maybe it's just a joke. Shrug it off. I don't take these things seriously.
What? Of course not! Of course not! Oh, I don't know what to do!

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An employee quietly approached you and asked permission to go home early; there was a death in their family. What will you say?
Oh. Sure. Just file this as vacation leave.
Of course! So sorry for your loss. Just inform the HR if you need more days off.
Not a problem. No problem at all. Take your time.
Oh, that is such a sad thing. Go, go! Don't worry.

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After performance evaluation sessions, one employee came up to you to complain and even cried about their poor assessment result. How will you handle it?
I'll let them complain and cry. When they're finished, I'll run through the results with them patiently, so they'll know what it really means. It's for their growth, after all. Need to communicate that better.
I'll tell them that crying won't do them any good. But working harder will! So next time, they should try that.
Commiserate with their bad feeling. Then uplift them by identifying their good points. And if they're open to extra mentoring sessions, we can do that to improve their next evaluation results.
Ugh, I can never handle employees crying! Treat them to lunch instead! So they can forget what happened.

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One of your employees won an award for their after-office hobby or artistic work. How will you react?
Congratulate them tremendously. It's great that they can maintain a healthy work-life balance.
So that's what they do when they're not working. I hope they don't do that during office hours.
Let the whole office celebrate their achievement. Then see later whether that award-winning skill can be of use to the office, too.
Congratulate them and give them a gift.

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You saw a promising project idea from a new employee but they're shy to present it. What will you tell them?
Just tell them to present it when they're ready. Or to give it to me so I can be the one to present it while giving them credit all the way.
Get irritated that they're shy. They have to unlearn that. Just do the job!
Encourage them to enhance it. They can ask for my help to develop it. Train them to have more confidence that way.
Have them tandem with a veteran so they can develop it further.

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There's a brilliant and hardworking longtime employee who's underperforming lately. Will you recommend for their immediate termination?
Of course not! I need to talk and see what's bothering this employee first. Communication should always be open this way.
Losing brilliant and hardworking employees is difficult. It's even harder to keep hiring new ones and give training over and over when older employees underperform. Maybe this person just needs extra guidance. I'll give that myself to get them back on their feet.
All brilliant and hardworking people have their ups and downs. It's a normal part of life. It doesn't mean they're underperforming, too. Maybe they're adjusting to something. They should get mentoring instead of firing them. That's just inhumane.
Let them go on vacation leave. Maybe they're undergoing something in their personal life. It's hard to judge. Plus, I don't want people to dislike me for judging without basis.

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