5 Ways to Know When to Let the Tiger Out

Extraordinary strength in a person with a strong personality (SP) is a potent opportunity for advantage or destruction.

Don’t dial back your strong personality.

Choose when to let the tiger out.


A CIO with an SP sent me a note after yesterday’s post, “12 Problems with Strong Personalities.” He knows he’s an SP with some useful strengths.

One reason he rose to the corporate suite is he has a strong bent toward action. In addition, he’s fanatical about clarity. If you aren’t clear, you better get clear, quick.

Once the path is clarified, get going or get out of the way. If you want something done, he can make it happen.

The downside of his ability to get things done is he might steamroll you, unintentionally of course.

He realizes the importance of giving space so others can get things done their way. But his nature is to get on the dance floor and start getting busy.

This time – not every time:

Focus your energy. Don’t tamp it down.

My CIO friend told me he’s learning to make a conscious choice every time an opportunity presents itself. “Do I want to dance in this dance or not?” His strong personality combined with his skill makes him love to dance.

Choose the best moments to release the tiger.

Organizations need strong personalities. Don’t make a blanket decision to tame the tiger. Focus it, instead.

When to release the tiger:

  1. How does your decision reflect a commitment to serve others?
  2. Can someone else lead the team, even if it isn’t done the way you would do it?
  3. Is there time for others to develop leadership skills?
  4. What’s best for the organization over the medium-term?
  5. Are you already engaged in high priority activities?

Bonus: Do you have the courage to let someone else shine?

When should leaders release their strong personality?

When should leaders tame or cage their inner tiger?