Leader or follower? Quiz yourself to find out …
1. You’re asked to buddy up with a fellow student for a piece of coursework and you discuss who’s going to do what. What do you end up doing?
- A. If you want something done properly, do it yourself. So you decide to split the work in half and go about each section separately. You work better alone.
- B. There’s so much to do, so you leave your workmate to do most of it – it sounds like they’ve got it under control.
- C. Taking charge of course. You dish out who’s going to do what, decide on when you’re going to do it and pick the work snacks as well.
- D. You come up with a plan of action together and work closely on each section. Two heads are better than one.
2. You and a few other students are asked to organise a party, someone needs to lead the group – do you volunteer?
- A. Maybe, but do they really need a committee to do this? You could easily organise this party yourself.
- B. No chance, let someone else do it.
- C. Of course, you’re the natural leader in the group, even if you do say so yourself.
- D. You volunteer your friend’s services instead, you know they’d make a great leader, but offer to give you their support if they need help with anything
3. Your friend isn’t trying his best at your weekend football match, what do you say to him?
- A. There’s no point saying anything, you’re the one scoring the goals.
- B. Is he really? You hadn’t noticed, you’re too busy daydreaming about the pub later tonight.
- C. You give him a pep talk, it’s your role as captain.
- D. You ask everyone else to step up, he’s obviously having a bad day, and then ask him afterwards if there is anything wrong.
4. Your tutor asks you to head up a study group, how do you feel?
- A. Happy to be asked, as long as no one else tries to tell you what to do.
- B. Mightily annoyed, why did she pick you? There are plenty of other better people, you may feign illness.
- C. Honoured, who better for the role?
- D. Good, you take a vote asking how everyone else would like the study group to pan out.
5. You come home to find your housemates having a fight about the washing up, what do you do?
- A. Head for your room, you always do your own washing up, so it’s not a problem for you.
- B. Disappear to watch television, you haven’t done any washing up in weeks and they may start picking on you.
- C. Take charge of the situation and start delegating a new washing up rota.
- D. Ask everyone to vote about their preferred route of action, democracy wins every time
How you answered …
- Mostly As: The solo flyer
You’re a bit of a perfectionist and find it hard to give up control. Rather than delegate tasks you’d prefer to do everything yourself in order to ensure it’s done properly. Getting involved is great, but it may leave you feeling worn out and stressed, and may make other people feel undervalued.
TRY: Releasing control once in a while. Go on, experiment, what’s the worse that can happen? You may even learn a few things that you can adapt and take on yourself next time. Sharing tasks will also help to make you more flexible and you’ll learn important social skills such as how to compromise and come up with solutions that satisfy everyone, not just you.
- Mostly Bs: The back seater
You hardly ever volunteer, you’d rather leave work to everyone else and you’re constantly being told off for being ‘lazy’. But have you thought about why you do this? Is it because you don’t feel confident in your ability to take tasks on? Or maybe it’s because you feel that other people wouldn’t appreciate your input. What do you think?
TRY: Thinking about what’s important to you. If achieving your degree is high up on your list then make sure you’re not scuppering your own plans. Time passes quickly and before you not it you’ll be in your final year with little time left to make amends and improve your grades. Putting in the time now and putting in effort where it is needed will help you to get you where you want to be.
- Mostly Cs: The leader
If there’s a chance to lead, you take it. You don’t want to follow others you want to be the chief, the captain, the head honcho. You may think that the only way to get the most out of a situation is to take the leading role, but there is much you can also learn from following others. And you may not always be appropriate – there may be other people with more relevant experience that puts them in a better position to take the reins.
TRY: Taking a step back. The next time a leadership opportunity comes up, think twice. Is there someone more appropriate for the role that you could learn from?
- ·Mostly Ds: The team player
You’re the perfect team player. You listen to what other people say, know how to compromise and have a strong sense of empathy and democracy.
TRY: Listening to yourself too. It’s great that you put everything into making a team work, but ensure you’re not ignoring what you want yourself. Ignoring your own needs is a sure way to becoming upset and frustrated, so take time to get your own needs met as well. And remember that sometimes you have to do things on your own, so try taking the lead in a project or two.