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2. A dynamic change-agent with skills in: ¨
(b) Developing human resources

2b1 Developing ITS management team via staff meetings

Development Plan Portfolio Documentation
Use weekly managersí meetings and special meetings to share a vision of leadership. Document training activities for ITS management team and reactions from them.

I was not in my new job as Director of the Andrews University Computing Center for long before I realized the need for weekly meetings with the management team so that a common understanding of the issues facing us could be reached, and so that solutions could be developed as a team that all of us could own and buy into.  The feedback I received from doing this was very positive, and my staff told me they appreciated the openness of the two-way communication and discussion.   Apparently, this contrasted with the management style of the previous Director.

I used to prepare a brief agenda to guide the meetings and emailed it to my managers first thing on Tuesday morning, the day of the meetings (I have compiled all of the agendas I had filed into a single document).  This process seemed to work well enough for a couple of years, but at one of our weekly meetings, we discussed ways of making the meetings more beneficial.  One approach that was suggested was that managers would email agenda items to me no later than the day before the meeting.  (See 13-Jul-99).  Managers did not often take advantage of this, but I think the quality of the meetings did improve because the managers felt they were more responsible for the content.

We started each meeting with a short devotional, and I would often use this as an opportunity to tell stories with a leadership moral ( for example, see 09-Jun-98 and 28-Jun-98).  We used to rotate responsibility for the devotional among the four managers and myself, so everyone had an opportunity to care for this.  Following IT restructuring on several occasions, the management team grew to a total of seven.  Periodically, I would send out a roster, which was basically cycling through the seven names alphabetically (19-Aug-99 and 20-Jan-00).  At tthe prompting of one of the staff, we started a tradition of inviting the whole ITS family to worship once a week.

During these meetings, we sometimes discussed leadership development explicitly, such as plans for attending Lessons In Leadership seminars:

Linda Wysong was the Director of Human Resources at Andrews University when we (HR and ITS) jointly organized the Stephen Covey satellite downlink.  She also met offsite (Tosi's Restaurant in Stevensville, MI - see emails to organize this: to staff, to Linda) with the IT managers and took us through the Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory questionnaire and analysis (http://keirsey.com/).  I remembered from the first time that I went through this process (during Leadership Orientation in 1998) having my eyes opened to the fact there are widely differing ways of approaching situations and thinking about things, and that these differences often fill in gaps in our own perspectives.  Linda told us that a well balanced team will have members representing each of the major temperament types, and these are described on the Keirsey web site as SP, SJ, NF, and NT.
 

I Introvert
E Extravert
N Intuitive
S Sensing
T Thinking
F Feeling
P Perceiving
J Judging

Doing this exercise with Linda had a number of positive outcomes.  One was that we were able to acknowledge that it was not only OK for someone on the team to have a different opinion from ourselves, it was actually very good.  We were able see the differences, not as a threat to the value of our own opinions, but as vital ingredients in excelling in our performance as a team.  After we understood this, another outcome that we were able to recognize as being very positive was that our team of seven was spread reasonably well among the four temperament types (SP, SJ, NF, and NT), as seen in the following table.

Temperament Descriptions (http://keirsey.com/pumII/temper.html) [1]
Temperament Description Staff
SPs

Myers had SPs probing around their immediate surroundings in order to detect and exploit any favorable options that came within reach. Having the freedom to act on the spur of the moment, whenever or wherever an opportunity arises, is very important to SPs. No chance is to be blown, no opening missed, no angle overlooked -- whatever or whoever might turn out to be exciting, pleasurable, or useful is checked out for advantage. Though they may differ in their attitude toward tough-mindedness (T) and friendliness (F) in exploring for options, and though some are socially expressive (E) and some reserved (I), all of them make sure that what they do is practical and effective in getting what they want.

Consistent with this view Myers described SPs as "adaptable," "artistic," and "athletic" -- as very much "aware of reality and never fighting it" -- as "open-minded" and ever "on the lookout for workable compromises" -- as knowing "what's going on around them" and as able "to see the needs of the moment" -- as "storing up useful facts" and having "no use for theories" -- as "easygoing," "tolerant," "unprejudiced," and "persuasive" -- as "gifted with machines and tools" -- as acting "with effortless economy" -- as "sensitive to color, line, and texture" -- as wanting "first-hand experiences" and in general "enjoying life." So SPs, as seen by Myers, are very much like one another and very much different from the other types, the SJs, NFs, and NTs.

Dan Cress
SJs

Myers had SJs, like SPs, observing their close surroundings with a keen eye, but for an entirely different reason, namely that of scheduling their own and others' activities so that needs are met and conduct is kept within bounds. Thus for SJs, everything should be in its proper place, everybody should be doing what they're supposed to, everybody should be getting their just deserts, every action should be closely supervised, all products thoroughly inspected, all legitimate needs promptly met, all approved ventures carefully insured. Though SJs might differ in being tough-minded (T) or friendly (F) in observing their schedules, and though they can be expressive (E) or reserved (I) in social attitude, all of them demand that ways and means of getting things done are proper and acceptable.\

And so Myers described the SJs as "conservative" and "stable" -- as "consistent" and "routinized" -- as "sensible," "factual," and "unimpulsive" -- as "patient," "dependable," and "hard-working" -- as "detailed," "painstaking," "persevering," and "thorough." This too is a clear-cut pattern of action and attitude, highly unlike that of the SPs, NFs, and NTs.

David Heise, Dan Widner
NFs

On the introspective side, Myers had NFs as friendly to the core in dreaming up how to give meaning and wholeness to people's lives. Conflict in those around them is painful for NFs, something they must deal with in a very personal way, and so they care deeply about keeping morale high in their membership groups, and about nurturing the positive self-image of their loved ones. Indeed, while they might differ from each other on how important judging schedules (J) or probing for options (P) is in acting on their friendly feelings, and while their social address can be expressive (E) or reserved (I), all NFs consider it vitally important to have everyone in their circle -- their family, friends, and colleagues -- feeling good about themselves and getting along with each other.

Thus Myers, an INFP herself, saw her fellow NFs as "humane" and "sympathetic" -- as "enthusiastic" and "religious" -- as "creative" and "intuitive" -- and as "insightful" and "subjective." Again this is a distinct picture of attitude and action, showing NFs to be very much like each other and greatly different from SPs, SJs, and NTs.

Lorena Bidwell, Jim Massena
NTs

Also on the introspective side, Myers had NTs as tough-minded in figuring out what sort of technology might be useful to solve a given problem. To this end, NTs require themselves to be persistently and consistently rational in their actions. Though they may differ in their preference for judging schedules (J) or probing for options (P) as they tackle problems, and though they can seem expressive (E) or reserved (I) around others, all NTs insist that they have a rationale for everything they do, that whatever they do and say makes sense.

So Myers described the NTs as "analytical" and "systematic" -- as "abstract," "theoretical," and "intellectual" -- as "complex," "competent" and "inventive" -- as "efficient," "exacting" and "independent" -- as "logical" and "technical" -- and as "curious," "scientific," and "research-oriented." Here again is a unique and easily recognizable configuration of character traits, the NTs a breed apart, starkly different from SPs, SJs, and NFs.

Vivien Oxley

Linda represented the 16 combinations of the temperaments in a 4x4 grid, and she arranged the row and column headings in a particular way that gave special significance to the corner cells and the cells in the center.  The temperament combinations in corner cells (eg, ISTJ or ENFP) were usually found in people occupying leadership positions.  Temperament combinations in the center cells (eg, INTP) were often found in people who who excelled in supporting roles.

The arrangement of the row and column headings determines whether a particular combination of temperaments will be placed in a corner or in the center, and I did not record the actual arrangement that Linda used.  However, I believe it was one of the following.  However, regardless of the arrangement of the row and column headings, this representation also shows a reasonable spread across the grid.

F T
P J P J
E N LB, JM      
S        
I N     VO GD
S     DC DH, DW

P J
F T F T
S I   DC   DH, DW
E        
N I   VO   GD
E LB, JM      


[1] Keirsey, David. (1998). Please Understand Me II [Web]. (EN-0882)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://keirsey.com/pumII/temper.html
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Created: Tuesday, February 20, 2000 05:02 PM 
Last Modified: Friday, June 18, 2004 4:32 PM