ISFP Leadership

This section ISFP Leadership is about the strengths and weaknesses of ISFPs in leadership and management roles. I have also offered some tips for leadership development.  

ISFPs are unassuming, caring and often reluctant leaders. They are very sensitive and notice the needs and feelings of others readily. If given a choice, ISFP leaders prefer to take a backseat and let others do the leading. However, when there is a cause they are passionate about, ISFPs nonetheless will stand up to take charge.

Leading Self

ISFPs live in the moment and adapt themselves to whatever situation they find themselves. They do not like to be tied down by obligations or commitments; preferring to do what is pleasurable and pleasing to them at the moment.

This inclination may present a challenge when there are tasks or people they ought to commit themselves.

ISFPs may also struggle with their sense of self at times and may back off from challenges or trials that could have otherwise helped them to grow as leaders. In this respect, they can learn to be more self-assured and brush aside the opinions of others, especially if those opinions are negative.  

Setting the Vision

ISFPs are democratic leaders when setting a direction; they welcome the input from others and invite everyone to collectively come up with a team direction. However, ISFP leaders need to realize that they are the ultimate decision makers and do not need to try too hard to accommodate everyone’s opinions. Nonetheless, ISFP leaders are keenly aware of their personal values and will ensure that all things are done in accordance to those values.

ISFP leaders do not speak the language of vision easily. They are more driven by immediate problems and issues and do not easily conceive big ideas or long term visions. As such, they may be prone to ‘fighting fires’ instead of thinking of long term solutions to chronic issues.

Connecting with Others

ISFPs leaders are sensitive and encouraging leaders who will readily to give autonomy to their team to achieve organizational goals in their own way.

They will build an environment of openness and trust among their team and allowing the team to ‘be themselves’ at work.

They are also good communicators, instinctively understanding the best ways to reach an individual or an audience. As such, they know how to tailor the message in different ways to cater to different audiences.

However, ISFP leaders often avoid conflict even if those conflicts are necessary to mutual growth. They refrain from criticism and negative feedback, preferring to keep their words positive and encouraging.

Accomplishing of Goals

ISFPs are very hands-on leaders; they prefer to get their hands dirty on the ground with their team rather than to solely give orders and instructions. In this way, they often lead by example by working harder and performing better than their team.

ISFPs are constantly adapting to changes in the environment, believing that the best way often is to understand the circumstances and work around them. Sometimes this means changing deadlines for tasks or changing processes frequently. However, this flexible and casual approach to setting deadlines and schedules will frustrate many under them who desire some certainty and stability.

ISFP Leadership Development

Here are some tips for development:

  • Believe in yourself more

    Your leadership is necessary to the team and often is your best form of service to them. Cultivate a stronger sense of self; stand up and be counted. As a leader, some criticism from others is inevitable; you simply have to believe in yourself more and shut out the naysayers.   

  • Learn to give negative feedback

    You may avoid this whenever possible, but sometimes giving negative feedback is absolute necessary for the growth of the individual or the team. The next time something does not meet your expectations or standards, say it immediately. Your praise also becomes more effective when you balance it well with criticism.

  • Learn strategic planning

    Sometimes, problems that you’re facing today have a more fundamental root cause. When you’re tackling a problem, try to take a big picture approach to it. Are there changes you can make to the organization to eliminate the current problems altogether?

    Think also about current trends and patterns in the industry that will affect your organization in the long run; how can you position the organization to take advantage of these trends and patterns?


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