3 Leadership Myths That (Shouldn’t) Affect Your Hiring Decisions


When you think of a leader, what type of person do you envision? It is understandable to assume that the quintessential leader is people-oriented and energetic, but this only categorizes a type of leader, not the ability to lead. Anyone with a thoughtful, calculated, more inward-centered disposition (the typical introvert) has just as much ability to lead; it may just take on a different form.

Leadership is not a personality type. So where did we get this misconception?

Personality tests are informative, (mostly) accurate, and very popular nowadays in both the corporate and church staff environments. In the process of vetting high capacity candidates for our clients, we are sometimes asked to administer these tests to them, such as the DISC, Myers-Briggs, and Strength-finders assessments. Unfortunately, we’ve also had a fair amount of experience with clients that will base their hiring decision solely on an individual’s personality test results. Besides this being an impersonal and limiting decision in your search process, it is also shortsighted to base any decision on the results of a single test and not the individual themselves.

We’ve compiled a list of 3 common myths that should be dispelled before starting in your search process for a leader. These should encourage you to look deeper during the interview and discover the person behind the personality acronym.

Myth 1: Leaders are extroverted.

It is a common misconception that you must be an extrovert to have any leadership potential. But leaders come in all shapes, sizes, and personality types. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for candidates to automatically consider themselves unfit for a position based off of a personality ‘label’ they were given. I have even interviewed someone who told me they used to think early in their career they were too much of an introvert to be a pastor and that God could not use them in that capacity. Can your personality type limit where God is calling you? Certainly not!

Myth 2: Leaders are type A.

Another common misconception is that a good leader must be a proactive go-getter and have a tenacious drive with high performance standard, aka a “Type A” personality. These people are quick to act and respond and usually very direct in their communication. While these are all great personality characteristics, many top leaders do not have a “Type A” personality. For example, someone may lead through quiet, steady influence and be extremely effective, or others may lead through relationships and discipleship. There are many ways to lead, all which can have positive outcomes. It is dangerous to stereotype people and base decision-making on test results versus looking at past results to gauge potential and leadership style.

Myth 3: All leaders look the same.

Just as every church differs, so does every church leader! Try to not bring any pre-conceived notions of what your church leader should be like into your search process. This pitfall could limit your scope of God’s larger plan and prevent necessary changes from entering your church body. Regardless of their test results, the most important characteristic of this person is the state of their heart.

Learning to effectively use personality test results for your ministry can be a helpful resource; however, make sure not to get caught up in logistics and miss the big picture. You may have an ideal candidatein mind, but be prepared for those expectations to be stretched in your search process. Only God knows exactly who is the best fit for your ministry, regardless of their test results!

What are other myths surround hiring and leadership that should be dispelled?

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