The Leadership Waxahachie class of 2013-2014 spent Government Day learning what it takes to lead the city of Waxahachie on Friday.
Gathering in the city council meeting room at City Hall, Dr. David Deviney made a presentation to members of the team concerning what makes a good leader. Deviney is the director and professor of management for Tarleton State University Midlothian campus. His teaching interests involve organizational behavior, organizational development and change, management, strategy and leadership.
“I really enjoy discussing organizational behavior and how those behaviors affect the workplace,” Deviney said. “The most important factors involving these studies is knowing where you, as an individual, rate and how your leadership affects your place of business or organization.”
Before reporting to the session, each member of the Leadership team had to complete a packet and rate themselves based on the DISC (Dominant, Influential, Supportive and Cautious) Behavioral Insight. Deviney said it was to give each person and idea on what qualities they possessed and which ones they needed to work on. He said as it relates to leadership, most people bring with them intelligence, values, knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors.
“When we hire someone, which of these do we look for,” Deviney said. “We automatically look at a person's skills and abilities, and if they are a good fit for the job. Most people are hired for their skills and abilities and when they're fired it is usually because of their behavior. Behavior is what we want to focus on today.”
He said behavioral insights involve a person's adapted style, which involves how they respond to their environment and how they view themselves.
“I'm a very strong introvert, but I teach and speak in front of people, which wears me out,” he said. “When we work outside of our natural interest, we put additional stress on ourselves.”
As he gave the breakdown of each behavioral type, Deviney said that most dominant people are determined, demanding, driven and doers. However, influential people are impressive, interactive, inspiring and initiators.
“People who are supportive are typically sensitive, steady, stable and servants,” he said. “On the other hand, cautious people tend to be competent, creative, curious and coordinators.
“Dominant people are task oriented and they love a challenge,” Deviney said. “They surface in organizations when an organization is struggling or suffering.”
He said they have the attitude of “don't waste my time,” and they make up about 19 percent of the world's population.
“Influential people are extroverted and have a 'let's get acquainted' attitude,” he said. “They make up abut 32 percent of the world's population. Supportive people are consistent, don't like change, love working with others, stoic in their emotions and hard to read.
To reiterate his point, Deviney relayed a story involving Tom Landry after he won a Superbowl with the Dallas Cowboys. He said after the win, a reporter approached Landry and asked why he wasn't smiling. Landry's reply was simply, “I am.”
“Landry was known for being stone-faced,” he said. “Thirty-five percent of the people in the world have Landry's disposition. However, their attitude is 'let's take our time and work together.'”
Deviney said cautious people are compliant, task oriented, analytical, and they process everything. He said these type of people make up 14 percent of the population.
“Their approach to solving a problem is, 'let's study this situation,'” he said.
He said his point in all of this is that it takes a mixture or personalities to make an organization flow properly.
One the leadership team was finished with their behavioral study, they were ready to proceed with City Government Day. They made their way from the meeting room to council chambers, where the city staff members gave an overview of their positions and what it takes to run Waxahachie.
City Manager Paul Stevens discussed Waxahachie's history and how it became the Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas and a Main Street City.
“Waxahachie became a Home Rule City back in 1971,” Stevens' said. “That basically means that we have the power and control of our city.”
He said the total population for the city is 31,559 with an estimated growth rate of about 2 percent per year for the next several years.
Following their visit to City Hall, the Leadership Waxahachie class took a trip to the wastewater treatment plant, broke for lunch, toured the Historic Ellis County Courthouse and concluded their day by touring the Ellis County Courts Building.
The next Leadership Waxahachie event will involve the team being a part of Quality of Life Day on Oct. 11.
For more information about Leadership Waxahachie, call the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce at 972-937-2390 or visit waxahachiechamber.com.
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