How the Holiday's Should Be - The Leader Style


How the Holiday's Should Be - The Leader Style

Leaders are one of the most responsible of all the Striving Styles. When they are fully engaged with the holiday season, they act as though it is their responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly and everyone has a good time. They work very hard during the season to ensure it does as they get pleasure from and feel most in control when they are working. They are often popular people because they make things happen and will be found where the action is – at family, community, neighbourhood and workplace events. They try to make sure they make an appearance everywhere they have been invited, despite the cost to themselves and sometimes their family.

They generally enjoy the season, especially when they can get everyone on board to do it the way they believe it “should” be done. Their dominant striving need is to be in control and they have a tendency to jump in and take over, whether they are asked or not. They expect others to go along with them and in family situations, often everyone does.

Given that they have strong opinions about everything and are often convinced that their way is the right way to do it, they don’t have a lot of tolerance for anyone who isn’t interested in following them. For example, Jerry, a successful executive and father of 2 girls planned and scheduled the holiday season right down to time for wrapping presents. When the girls were young, they followed his plan and the holidays generally went off without issue. He had everything under control, right down to the expectation that everyone must have fun, and they generally did. However, there was no room for doing it differently or opting out of any of the activities.

Then the teenage years hit. Jerry was challenged about why everything had to be done his way by his girls. “Why did we have to do everything his way” they demanded. He responded in a number of ways – using guilt, anger and finally threats to try to restore control. He felt hurt and misunderstood by their accusations that he didn’t care about them but was unable to share that with them. Finally, he began to realize that he had only fostered compliance and his wife and children resented not having more say in how they spent the holidays.

Follow the story of the Leader Style on Monday.